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September 4, 2009

Tips for Navigating the Updated OSLIS

Yesterday evening we updated OSLIS to reflect the new look and navigation.  We did some testing, and the major elements seem to be in order.  Right now there are some display issues with the navigation tabs when using Internet Explorer, especially on the elementary student version.  Our programmer is working on that.  Please let us know as you run across links that don’t work, etc.

Our goals were to make the introductory pages less text-heavy, emphasize the three major resources (information literacy lessons, Citation Maker, and access to subscription databases), and make the site easier to navigate.  There’s a lot of information to share, so I’ll divide it among multiple emails.  Here are some tips for navigating the updated site.

From the homepage, users are asked to choose the relevant skin or version of OSLIS: elementary student, secondary student, elementary teacher, or secondary teacher.  That’s because content is different for the elementary and secondary levels.  Always choose the most relevant version before browsing, logging into, or searching OSLIS.

Landing Page
Once you choose the most relevant version, you will land on a page with three options, and these correlate to the three major resources on OSLIS.

·        Learn How to Do Research leads to the information literacy resources.

·        Find Information leads to the Gale database links and other resources like L-net and the Oregon Encyclopedia.

·        Cite My Sources leads to the new homepage for Citation Maker.

This landing page may be what you want to bookmark in your school and library.

The educators’ landing pages will be updated soon.  If you click on elementary educator or secondary educator, you will not see the images for the three options mentioned above.  However, you do have the equivalent navigation tabs, including one for Teaching Support, at the top and can find resources that way. 

Finding the Gale Databases
To get to the Gale databases, choose the appropriate version of OSLIS and click on Find Information.  Each level (elementary and secondary) has links to databases that are the most relevant for that age group.  Both pages link to Gale PowerSearch.  Clicking on PowerSearch leads to a menu of all 18 databases plus the sub-collections that are part of the statewide package.  Users may search all of those databases at one time using the search box at the top or click on the name of a specific database to just search within that one.  If you want to get rid of the OSLIS framework when searching in the Gale databases, use the “Open this resource in a new window” link towards the top left of the OSLIS page (under the Switch Sites box).

Navigation Tabs
Notice that when you are on the Find Information page, you have three tabs at the top in the colored bar: Learn to Research, Find Information, and Cite My Sources.  These tabs should be at the top of all OSLIS pages once you get past the landing page.  Use them to switch among the three major resources.  When you click on Learn to Research, you will see a second tier of navigation with a tab for each step in the research process.  Here's an example: let’s say you just finished looking at some tips in the Create section of the information literacy resources, and now you want to start on a works cited list.  Just click on the Cite My Sources tab towards the top of the page in the colored bar.

That should be enough to get you started.   

A big thanks to the following people who put a lot of work into this upgrade: Melanee Lucas, Casey Sundermann, Stephanie Thomas, Jamie Miller, Janet Murray, Kate Vance, Darci Hanning, and Larry Pitcher.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Library Development
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR  97301-3950