Enhance your library collection with digital content

Most subscribers use SCIS Data to download records for books and other physical items that they would like to make available in their library catalogue.

But, with over 100,000 records available for websites, apps, ebooks, audiobooks, and digital videos, it is also the perfect tool to help build your digital collection.

This blog post looks at the benefits of including digital content in your library catalogue, and how SCIS supports this.

Why catalogue digital content?

A cost-effective way to enhance collections
For schools with a limited budget, including digital resources in your library catalogue through SCIS adds value to your collection without the price tag, as many are free of charge. Downloading these records and resources from SCIS also ensures that you are cataloguing credible and educational resources to build the foundations for digital literacy in your school.

Incorporating digital content in your library catalogue makes a richer search experience for your library users. The SCIS catalogue points to a variety of learning experiences — many of them interactive. In addition, searches won’t be limited to items made available by commercial publishers. For example, the SBS resource ‘My Grandmother’s Lingo’ (SCIS no. 1784795), which may not have been accessible in a more traditional catalogue provides a truly unique experience for students.

Consolidate your search in one system
The inclusion of digital content in your library catalogue ensures that it is a ‘one-stop shop’ for your staff and students. Say you have a subscription to a platform like Wheelers ePlatform One. Rather than asking your students to access different platforms based on their information needs, you can include catalogue records for Wheelers content within your own library catalogue.

How can I use SCIS as a selection tool for digital content?

Three methods for downloading digital content from SCIS are outlined below.

Download bulk records of newly catalogued resources
The Digital content page in SCIS provides access to batches of recently catalogued records. For most effective use, we recommend adding this step into your cataloguing workflow to find new, educational content for your catalogue — whether it’s once a month, once a term, or once a semester. For instructions on using this feature, please see Downloading records of digital resources.

Download records from a particular collection
Our Collections page (previously known as Special Order Files) is a valuable way to download bulk records from particular education content platforms and providers.

SCIS works with content providers such as ClickView to catalogue titles, meaning that schools subscribed to these platforms can download and import bulk records directly into their catalogue. The Collections page also features resources curated by the National Library of New Zealand.

Simply select the collection you wish to browse, choose the most relevant file, and click ‘Download’. More information on how to use this feature is available at the SCIS help centre.

Browse the SCIS catalogue for a wide range of digital content resources


Another method for downloading records for digital content is by browsing the SCIS catalogue. As it gives a broad view of what’s available, this method will give you the most control in terms of curating your own content. On our Search page, you will find four categories: websites, apps, ebooks and digital videos. If you’d like help downloading records from the SCIS catalogue, please see this help article.

Quick tip
Project Gutenberg is a website that publishes free ebooks that are no longer in copyright.

For those interested in including Project Gutenberg in their library catalogue, click on the ‘Ebook’ section of the Search page and enter the search term, ‘Project Gutenberg’ (including the quotation marks).

You will find over 380 ebook records that you can then choose from and download.

Once you import these records into your LMS, your students will be able to search and access them — this is perfect for schools whose budgets may not support subscriptions to paid ebook platforms.

Requesting cataloguing for records not in SCIS

If you would like any particular item catalogued that isn’t already in SCIS, please submit an online cataloguing request. Of course, to ensure we are only cataloguing high-quality, educational resources, any such content must meet our selection criteria.

Need more help?

If you have any questions about cataloguing digital content, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact our customer service team at help@scisdata.com.

To find out more about the inclusion of digital content in your library catalogue, please register for our webinar Digital content in the 21st century library catalogue. The webinar will be co-hosted by teacher librarian Cathy Costello, who will discuss how digital content can be shared and promoted in school libraries.

Let’s not think of libraries as gifts, but as wise investments

Fleur Morrison writes about the importance of libraries, whether in our cities or schools, for the future of our communities.

There are plenty of things that young people feel aggrieved about being saddled with. Climate change and a long-running war in the Middle East are two that leap immediately to mind.

But there are other things handed down by previous generations that seem to suggest extraordinary generosity and vision. One is libraries.

Continue reading Let’s not think of libraries as gifts, but as wise investments

Is there life beyond MARC?

SCIS forges into a new frontier

The Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) is working with several major school library management system vendors in Australia and New Zealand to revolutionise how library catalogue records are distributed to schools.

Continue reading Is there life beyond MARC?

In conversation with ASLA’s Teacher Librarian of the Year

For Library Lovers’ Day, we celebrate the work of Jane Viner, who was awarded Teacher Librarian of the Year in 2017. SCIS recently spoke to Jane about what makes her library unique and what she finds most rewarding about her role and working in school libraries.

‘I loved this book, Mrs Viner. Now I know why I like reading. Are there any more like it?’

Continue reading In conversation with ASLA’s Teacher Librarian of the Year

What can a library be?

Do you ever stop and think about what the school library can be for your learning community? It is easy to get caught up in the daily activities and forget about the endless possibilities that exist for our learners. As I prepare to begin my 10th year as a school librarian, I’ve been thinking about how the library spaces and resources can transform our students’ lives. I would like to share some recent happenings that have illustrated this to me.

Continue reading What can a library be?

Professional learning webinars: Term 1, 2018

In 2017, we launched SCIS Data — a modern, intuitive and user-friendly platform that makes resource management in schools even simpler. To help ease your way into the new website, we have recorded a series of instructional videos, available to view on our Vimeo page. You can also visit our comprehensive help centre, packed with help articles based on your FAQs.

We will also be hosting a series of webinars in January and February to help you make the most of SCIS Data. Webinars are open to all school library staff and are a great way to discover how SCIS can support your library’s cataloguing and collection management, with the opportunity to chat with fellow library staff. Sessions are approximately 45–60 minutes, and we are happy to answer questions throughout.

Continue reading Professional learning webinars: Term 1, 2018

The full history of Connections is now online

2017 has been an exciting year for SCIS.

Our new website SCIS Data was launched in August, complete with a fresh rebrand and exciting new features to support school libraries. We also celebrated the 100th issue of our quarterly magazine, Connections, and to commemorate the milestone, announced that we would digitise and make available the full history of Connections.

We are proud to announce that — for the first time in our history — the entire collection is now available to view and download online.

Continue reading The full history of Connections is now online

How the school library saved my life

Megan McDonald
Children’s book author

I grew up reading—at the school library, on the bookmobile, at the comic book store, at home next to the heater under the piano. As a girl, I found pieces of myself in the characters of Ramona, Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls, Jo March, Harriet the Spy, Jane Eyre.

Continue reading How the school library saved my life