Will Ortiz sits at a cluttered office desk.

Grad student ties assignment to Alaskan resource

Will Ortiz first heard about Learning Express while visiting Juneau for the Alaska Library Association’s 2019 Conference last February.

Learning Express, an online resource database available to all Alaska residents, includes educational material such as practice tests and tutorials.

“A lot of people don’t know that this is available to them. I want them to know about it, how to get to it, and how to use it,” said Ortiz. 

When the Library & Information Science graduate student was assigned to create an informational video on how to navigate an academic database (such as the ones you find in libraries, chock full of research papers), he decided to apply it to Learning Express. 

“In the video, I was to demonstrate the [online] searching techniques that I learned in class,” explained Ortiz. Search techniques account for different ways to use search terms, categories, metadata, and other behind-the-scenes database stuff.

Ortiz recognized that a video showcasing Learning Express would directly benefit his students. He said he already uses it to tutor in the Student Success Center.

“As a librarian, it is our duty to help patrons locate the information that they need, and I think this is an example of doing just that,” he said. The video will be available on Sitka Campus’ resource webpage in the near future.

Oritz studies Library & Information Science through San Jose State University’s online graduate program. He currently serves as the AmeriCorps Academic Coach at UAS Sitka.