TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - When Ontario's students need answers to their
research questions, or access to multimedia archives or authoritative
databases, they can turn to Knowledge Ontario's online services.
The Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) is showing its appreciation of these valuable services by
presenting a Special Achievement award this afternoon to Knowledge Ontario's executive director, David
Thornley, and chairperson, Peter Rogers.
"The OSLA's Special Achievement award goes to Knowledge Ontario for its
capacity-building leadership and collaborative partnerships that make
it possible for school libraries in Ontario, regardless of size or
location, to provide students with equal access to virtual resources
and technology tools needed by 21st-century learners," says OSLA president Ruth Hall.
KO's services reflect many of the priorities of the Ontario Ministry of
Education, such as fostering digital literacy and providing equitable
access to students across the province, including students in remote,
rural, northern, Aboriginal and Francophone schools.
KO's digital services include the following:
eResources, a range of authoritative, age-appropriate collections of
information, periodicals, newspapers and other learning tools;
Learn Ontario tech help and tutorials for teaching and quick "how-to's"
Our Ontario, a digital collection of heritage photographs, videos, audio
recordings, newspapers and other historical records; and
askON and ONdemande, which allow students to get real-time research
assistance in English and French after school and on weekends from
public library staff.
Knowledge Ontario (KO) is gratified by the recognition. "I'm delighted
to receive this award, along with my colleague David Thornley, because
Knowledge Ontario deeply values our close partnership with teachers,
students and school boards throughout Ontario. Educators at every level
tell us that our digital tools are extremely useful to students,
supporting them in school and in transitioning to college and
university," says Rogers. "We thank the OSLA for this recognition."
Since January 2007, through negotiated province-wide licences, KO has
turned an annual $1.2-million investment from the Government of Ontario
into a suite of e-resources that would have cost individual school
boards over $10 million. Before KO, over half of Ontario's school
libraries had no online database access for their students, and many
others had only limited resources. Now, students use KO resources over
6 million times each year—and it's making a difference to their
"Knowledge Ontario has proven to be a catalyst for change and
improvement," says Anita Brooks Kirkland, a library consultant with the
Waterloo Region District School Board. "Having a broad range of
quality, reliable resources, differentiated by instructional need,
topic and audience, has been a powerful motivator for deeper learning
and critical thinking for our students."
At the school board level, administrators recognize the value of
leveraging collaborative investment to prepare students for lifelong
learning. "Knowledge Ontario's services help Ontario's students develop
the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly high-tech world,"
says John Stadnyk, director of education with the Huron-Superior
Catholic District School Board and a KO board member.
Parents, meanwhile, appreciate the fact that their children can quickly
access the information they need to further their education after
school hours. "Knowledge Ontario is an excellent choice for the OSLA
award," says Gay Stephenson, online communications manager for People
for Education, a parent-led organization that supports Ontario's public
education system. "The research is reliable and can be found in one
place! For parents, it's the perfect homework helper."
Hi res photos of Thornley and Rogers
SOURCE Knowledge Ontario
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