How can school librarians use RSS feeds?

To give teachers free, full-text access to their favorite professional journals.

Through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, MA residents have free (and password-free) access to a wide variety of Gale databases.* I recently went to the Gale Academic Search Premier database > Browse Publications page, and found that this database carries the full text of School Library Journal, Booklist, and Library Journal. From each journal’s page, I got a RSS Feed URL that sends all full text articles from this professional journal to my feed reader. Now I don’t need a subscription, nor do I have to remember to visit a library to browse these journals. Beautiful! (and props to Amy Short, who taught me how to do this)

This could be a fabulous in-service training that a librarian could do with teachers in each subject area. Librarians would simply need to find out first which professional (and/or student-interest) journals are available through Gale for each subject area.

*If your computer is within MA state borders, go to the Mass Libraries website and press the “search” button under the heading “Search Our Library Resources.” This brings you to the Gale Power Search. To switch databases, click on “Change Databases” at the top left of the page.


3 responses to “How can school librarians use RSS feeds?

  1. Susanna, I really like how you would be able to get articles from School Library Journal, etc. for free through RSS feeds. This seems like a convenient and quick way for users to access materials without having to go the websites or Gale Database all the time. Is there a way for one to select what types of articles to receive through RSS feeds? For example, is there an option to select only articles on “dogs and training” to be sent to one’s RSS feed. Thanks!

    • Jen, Yeah, cool, huh? With the Gale databases (and I am sure other DBs do this as well), you can have any specific search sent to your feed reader. It is saving your search terms and when new articles come up that fit those search terms, they are sent to your reader. It could also be an advanced search in which you limit it to peer reviewed articles, for instance, or items from the same publication (as in the example I gave). Have fun! –Susanna

  2. That’s really useful Susanna. What a great service this is for college students, teachers, professors, high school students, etc.

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