Downloading SCIS Authority Files

SCIS catalogue records contain SCIS’s authorized name and subject headings. However, on their own, records will not display the See and See Also references that provide the optimal search experience for your students and staff. SCIS Authority Files provide these references, as well as providing all authorized forms of names and subjects used as access points in SCIS catalogue records. Installing them will enable your library management system to automatically create cross references, which will be visible in your library catalogue.

Schools can subscribe to SCIS Authority Files for only $90 per year, which includes both Name and Subject authorities. SCIS release a new version of the Authority Files twice a year, usually in March and August.

In this post we describe the benefits of installing SCIS Authority Files and provide advice on selecting and installing them, using two systems to demonstrate: Access-It and Softlink’s Oliver. You can find more information about SCIS Authority Files on the authority files help page. You can also watch our new Authority Files video…

SCIS Authority Files from SCIS on Vimeo.

 

SCIS Name Authorities

SCIS Name Authorities specify the authorized name of authors, illustrators, and other creators, be they corporate (eg “Primary English Teaching Association (Australia)”) or individual. This includes See references for non-authorized names. For example, if SCIS Name Authorities are installed and one of your staff search for “PETAA”, they will be directed to all works by “Primary English Teaching Association (Australia)”. Without Name Authorities, they may get no results.

Not all systems support name authorities, so check with your vendor before installing them.

SCIS Subject Authorities

If a user searches on the term “Hurricanes” without a See reference to direct them to the authorized SCIS subject heading, “Cyclones”, they may believe that the library does not contain any resources about hurricanes. See Also references exist between related terms and are important for assisting the user to find resources on similar subjects, such as directing users from “Cyclones” to the related topic “Tornadoes”.

SCIS Subject Authority files include authorized names as subjects. That is, whilst SCIS Name Authorities specify the name “Carroll, Lewis” as an author of a work, SCIS Subject Authorities specify “Carroll, Lewis” as a subject for when a work is about Lewis Carroll.

Selecting Authority Files – Full versus Reference Only

On the SCIS Authority Files page, schools need to choose which files they require: the SCIS Full Authority Files or the SCIS Reference Only Authority Files.

The Full Authority files contain all authorized SCIS headings, including those without See and See Also references, such as “Science fiction films – History and criticism”. This may be useful for local cataloguing of resources not catalogued by SCIS, such as vertical file materials. Use the full list of authorized headings in your library system to ensure consistency with headings used in SCIS records.

If most of your catalogue records are sourced from SCIS and you do little or no original cataloguing, you may decide you only need the significantly smaller SCIS Reference Only Authority Files. These contain only those headings that have See and/or See Also references. We recommend that all schools install at least the Reference Only Subject Authority Files.

SCIS Authority File download options

Download options on the SCIS Authority File page

Downloading SCIS Authority Files

Twice a year, when SCIS release new versions of the Authority Files, go to the SCIS Authority Files page, select the correct files for you, and download them.

The next step is to import them into your library management system. Read your system’s manual carefully for the settings to choose when importing the SCIS subject authority files.

Imports should be regarded as an overnight housekeeping task as the download may take several hours.

Access-It authority import

Steps for importing authority files in Access-It

 

In current generation systems, many of the steps will be similar.

  • In Oliver, go to Management > Import and select the MARC radio button. It is crucial to select “MARC-21 Authority” in the “MARC format” field is crucial.
  • In Access-It, click Cataloguing > Imports > Import MARC Authorities.

    Oliver authority file import

    Options for uploading authority files in Oliver

Your system may require you to make some or all of the following decisions:

  • Choose how to deal with existing, duplicate authority records: Unless you want to retain any Subject Authorities you have created, it is important to replace the existing subject authorities with the new SCIS authorities. In Oliver, select “Replace existing resources”.
  • Specify which authorities you are loading: In Oliver it is important to select “Load subjects” otherwise the subject authorities won’t be loaded. If you are importing Name Authorities, do not select “Load Authors into Subject Authority File” because SCIS Subject Authority files already contain author names as subjects.
  • Specify file encoding: MARC authorities will be encoded in UTF-8.  Select this in Oliver, and leave Access-It as “auto-detect”.
Access-It authority file options

Authority file options in Access-IT

Challenged resources

American Librairies Association Posters - IFLA WLIC 2014 CC

Challenged resources are those that may be considered controversial or offensive to members of the school community. It is important that schools have guidelines and procedures in place to deal with any challenges that may arise.

Guidelines and procedures regarding challenged resources should be developed within the school community. The Policy Statement – School Library Bill of Rights from the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) website is a useful starting point, as well as the school’s own Collection Development Guidelines.

Dealing with challenges

Dealing with challenges should be a systematic process involving:

  • referring the challenger to the school’s Collection Development Guidelines
  • completion of a Request for Consideration of School Resources by the challenger
  • a decision on whether to remove the item from the shelf immediately or after it has been reviewed
  • a review of the challenged resource by a committee comprising the principal, resource teacher, a P&C representative and the person making the challenge
  • the principal being responsible for the final decision to remove or retain the challenged item.

Donated resources

Resources donated to the school library should be added to the collection only if they:

  • are compatible with the Collection Development Guidelines
  • adhere to the selection criteria
  • fulfill a need or enhance the collection.

Donors should be informed that their donation undergoes the same selection process as any other resource under consideration for inclusion into the collection.

Originally published WA DET School Library Support: http://www.det.wa.edu.au/curriculumsupport/schoollibrarysupport/detcms/navigation/resourcing-the-curriculum/selecting-resources/#toc6. Used by permission of D. Bevan, Nov 2013

Enhanced content in SCIS catalogue

The SCIS Catalogue is a valuable starting point for school staff looking to identify books, digital resources and websites to support the curriculum, and subscribers are encouraged to use it as a selection aid for locating resources that are required for a particular purpose in a school. While providing catalogue records is core business, SCIS recognises the value of enhancing the catalogue record where possible with any information that may help school staff discover and review resources of interest.

In July 2011 SCIS added enhanced content services from Syndetics Solutions and LibraryThing for Libraries to the SCIS Catalogue, via a subscription with Thorpe-Bowker. The bibliographic records in SCIS OPAC are enhanced to display additional detail about resources, including plot summaries, author notes, awards and reviews. This content is delivered to SCIS by linked data based on ISBN.

Consider the subject headings and notes if using SCIS Catalogue as a selection tool

Figure 1: If using SCIS Catalogue as a selection tool, consider using the Subject Headings and notes

The SCIS Catalogue bibliographic record display provides a link to Google Books. The Google books link/s (if any) will appear at the bottom of the display.
There are three possible links:

  • Entire book is viewable
  • A portion of the book is viewable
  • “About This Book” information is available.

These links will enrich search results with lists of relevant books, journal articles, web page citations and links to related works and full text when available.

Google Books link in SCIS Catalogue record

Figure 2: Google Books link in SCIS Catalogue record

 

Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue
Individual records from SCIS Catalogue can be saved directly to selected social media services as bookmarks. The persistent website address (URL) for these records will be in the format http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1411770 where the bibID is the SCIS number for that record.
Note that you will need a subscription to the social bookmarking service you wish to use, and anyone accessing these SCIS records from your bookmarking service will need to be a SCIS subscriber.
The social bookmarking services currently supported include delicious.com, diigo.com, facebook.com, google.com and StumbleUpon.com.

Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue full record screen

Figure 3. Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue full record screen

 

Images linked to Google Books are not available for download from SCIS. The book cover image from Thorpe Bowker located within the catalogue data (if available) can be downloaded into your library management system from our orders page or via your system’s z39.50 connection. Subscriber schools may also display the images on the school website including blogs, wikis, online newsletters and the school intranet.

Syndetics content in SCIS Catalogue
Through the subscription service Syndetics, SCIS offers additional descriptive and evaluative information where available including:

  • summaries and annotations
  • fiction and biography profiles
  • summaries and annotations
  • fiction and biography profiles
  • author notes
  • awards
  • books in a series

Syndetics reviews
Syndetics delivers edited reviews from authoritative reviewing sources including:

  • Bookseller & Publisher reviews
  • New York Times reviews
  • School Library Journal reviews
  • Publishers Weekly reviews
  • The Horn Book reviews
  • Kirkus reviews

Indigenous Literacy Day

Lottie gets caught reading Anita Heiss

Lottie gets caught reading Anita Heiss

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation was set up in 2005 by Suzy Wilson, with the aim of lifting literacy rates and opportunities for young indigenous children living in remote communities. The fund is supported by the Australian Book Industry and is a not for profit charity. You can find out more about the organization here.

Its main fundraising activity is Indigenous Literacy Day, which took place on 3 September this year. Many schools and libraries  hosted book swap sessions with book publishers and book sellers donating a percentage of sales to the fund.

Individuals who still wish to donate can Get caught reading

 

 

Here is a snapshot of what the Indigenous Literacy Foundation has achieved in 2014

120000 books supplied

120000 books supplied

The Indigenous Literacy Fund website is also a powerful resource, SCIS subscribers can download the catalogue record (SCIS No. 1534140)

What did your school do for International Literacy Day?

Connections 90

The latest issue of the SCIS journal, Connections, has been sent to all schools, and is available online.
Highlights of Connections 90 include:-

Taking Note of Nonfiction
Peter Macinnis, who presented the ‘Clayton’s list’ for the Eve Pownall award for information books, shares his insights into what makes a good information book.

Boori Monty Pryor with Dr Anita Heiss at BlackWords Symposium 2012.

Boori Monty Pryor with Dr Anita Heiss at BlackWords Symposium 2012.  courtesy of Blackwords

Learning Online: MOOCs for library staff
Martin Gray, a teacher librarian from Singleton High School, looks at how he used MOOCs to further his professional learning with two very different online courses.

BlackWords: Celebrating writers and storytellers
Writer and activist, Dr. Anita Heiss looks at BlackWords and AustLit, which are freely available for schools, and how they can assist in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into the curriculum.

Following IndigenousX
SCIS’s Michael Jongen looks at the IndigenousX curated Twitter account and how it can help educators to hear a diverse range of authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

Bring the Teachers In: Enticing teachers into the library
Library Manager at Wellington College, New Zealand, Brett Moodie, wanted to boost the profile of the library within the school and support the learning and information needs of staff.

 

More RDA updates

SCIS hybrid RDA standards

RDA: Resource Description and Access is the cataloguing standard that replaced the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules in 2013. SCIS has been working on a staged implementation of RDA to manage the impact on school library systems and their users. When SCIS started using the transitional standards on 1 July 2013 the intention was to move completely to RDA on 1 July 2014. This timeline is not going to be possible.

SCIS has delayed the full implementation of RDA for a further 12 months.

Bible and Qur’an headings in SCIS

Background

Descriptions of resources created according to RDA instructions are easier for users to understand. Many of the obscure abbreviations previously used by cataloguers have been abandoned in favour of familiar language. This brings us to access points (both preferred titles and subject headings) for the Bible.

The Bible

Bible Bookmark by George Redgrave CC-by-nd

Bible Bookmark by George Redgrave CC-by-nd

Bible headings were previously constructed in this pattern:

Bible
Bible. N.T.
Bible. N.T. Luke
Bible. O.T.
Bible. O.T. Genesis
Bible stories – N.T.
Bible stories – N.T. Gospels
Bible stories – O.T.
Bible stories – O.T. Exodus

RDA has made two major changes. The abbreviations ‘N.T.’ and ‘O.T.’ are spelled out as ‘New Testament’ and ‘Old Testament’. Individual books of the Bible are entered directly under the heading ‘Bible’. The same list of headings now looks like this:

Bible
Bible. Genesis
Bible. Luke
Bible. New Testament
Bible. Old Testament
Bible stories – Exodus
Bible stories – Gospels
Bible stories – New Testament
Bible stories – Old Testament

The Qur’an

The conversion to RDA also provided the opportunity to use the more commonly transliterated form ‘Qur’an’ rather than ‘Koran’ for headings relating to this sacred text. This change does not apply to the transcription of titles or contents which may contain the word ‘Koran’. For example:

Text of the Qur’an
Preferred title: Qur’an
Title statement: The Koran / translated with notes by N.J. Dawood

Work about the Qur’an
Title statement: The Koran : a very short introduction
Subject heading Qur’an – Criticism, interpretation, etc.

Changes in the SCIS database

More than 650 authority records for the Bible and Qur’an, representing headings in over 5,000 bibliographic records were changed in SCIS in January 2014. This was accomplished using the global headings change facility in Voyager, the library management system used by SCIS. The first edition of SCIS authority files in 2014 contains these changed authority records.
‘Use for’ references have been provided for every individual book of the Bible, for example:

Bible. Luke
UF Bible. New Testament. Luke
Luke (Book of the New Testament)

These references allow users who include ‘New Testament’ or ‘Old Testament’ in their headings search, or search directly for the name of the book to be directed to the preferred heading.

Changes in SCIS subject headings
There were relatively few changes required for SCIS Subject Headings, which contain only selected examples and pointers as to how to construct subject headings for parts of the Bible and stories based on Biblical events. The opportunity was taken to include some extra instructions to assist cataloguers in devising Bible headings, for example:

Bible stories – New Testament
For retold or adapted stories from individual books of the New Testament, see headings such as Bible stories – Luke.

Changes in your library system

Individual library systems vary in their capacity to manage global changes. Depending on the nature of your collection and your library system, these changes may or may not represent a challenge. If you use SCIS authority files and your system is set up to automatically match headings in your database when you import the new authority file, the changes may be quite straightforward. In other cases you may need to ask your library system vendor or your user group for advice on how to manage the impact of these changes.

Connections 89

The term 2 issue of Connections is published online at the SCIS website and features the following articles of interest to school library staff.

Eric and one of his beloved elephants. Original artwork by Andrew Joyner. Used with permission.

Eric and one of his beloved elephants. Original artwork by
Andrew Joyner. Used with permission.

Once upon a story time
Thousands of Australians will celebrate National Simultaneous Story time on 21 May, Laura Armstrong reports that Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner will be this year’s featured author and illustrator.

Libraries and metadata in a sea of information
Alan Manifold explains why as libraries, metadata and books evolve he thinks that libraries of the future may have a closer relationship with metadata than with books.

Growing, harvesting, preparing, sharing and learning
Bev Laing from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation discusses teaching resources related to sustainability and provides the context within education for sustainability and the persuasive context of a kitchen garden.

The Arts and Geography
Free practical digital resources that support the Australian Curriculum in the Arts and Geography highlighted by Gabrielle England from Education Services Australia.

New and revised subject headings
SCIS systems librarian Ben Chadwick looks at the SCIS subject headings, the 2014 SCIS authority files update and updates to Schools Online Thesaurus. A new set of special order files make it easier to download Scootle records into school library systems.

Stories from the stacks
Petra Stene and Judith Westaway show how they used weeded and recycled books to decorate Margaret River Senior High School Library, Western Australia.

Connections 88

Connections 88

Connections issue 88

Heading into holidays? Now you have some time, catch up on some professional reading. In case you missed it – the term 1 issue of Connections is published online at the SCIS website and features the following articles of interest to school library staff.

Literacy loves storytelling

Dr. Pam Macintyre looks at the role of oral language in the development of successful literacy and suggests how schools can foster this in programmes such as In Other Words at Dinjerra Primary School, Melbourne. Pam is a lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. She is editor of the quarterly review Journal Viewpoint: on books for young adults and sits on the 100 Story Building board of directors.

Teacher associations support Australian Curriculum

Education Services Australia has partnered with Australian teachers’ associations to develop practical, classroom-related digital resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. In this article Gabrielle England provides an overview of free online resources available for Phase 1 Learning Areas.

Miss Scarlet in the library with the smart phone

Joanna Hare provides a handy how-to-mobile photography guide for librarians looking at practical uses for libraries, some basic tips and apps.

Inanimate Alice

Inanimate Alice is a fictional story designed to develop student’s digital literacy skill. It is linked through Scootle to many of the Australian Curriculum guidelines for English and literacy.

School library collections survey 2013

In 2013 SCIS conducted an online survey of Australian school library staff to find out more about the state of school library collections. Clare Kennedy reports on the survey results.

New and revised subject headings: Bible and Qur’an

List of the new and revised subject headings for the Bible and Qur’an approved by the SCIS Information Services Standards Committee following implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA).

SCIS Asks 2013: The future of vocabularies

Education Services Australia manages multiple vocabularies including SCIS Subject Headings List and ScOT. At the SCIS consultation SCIS Asks, Ben Chadwick, ESA Metadata analyst outlined how vocabularies assist search.

     Australian Education Vocabularies >      Schools Online Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT)


Australian Education Vocabularies >
Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT)

  • Search expansion and faceting
  • Navigation and browsing
  • Collections Redirects (“See”)
  • Related topics (“See also”)
  • Mapping between repositories

ScOT as Linked Open Data

Ben outlined how ScOT  is published as open linked data and can be linked to other unique identifiers, inside and outside the vocabulary. It is available for consumption on the open web and is expressed in a standard, machine-readable format (RDF).

ScOT linking curriculum to resources

To date ScOT has been used to tag  20,000 resources  in Scootle  and 350,000 resources  in SCIS MARC records.  The Softlink survey 2013 showed that schools want curriculum alignment.  Aligning existing resources to the Australian Curriculum is one of three top priorities of school library staff. Future decisions  for SCIS around curriculum alignment  include

  • dealing with pre-2006 records without ScOT terms,
  • non-subject vocabularies,
  • increased records for digital resources,
  • retrospective updates of schools’ SCIS records
  • viability of Linked Open Data authorities as a new model for authority files.

Discussion points

Many have indicated that they would love to be able to search by curriculum in order to find related resources and that this would be a huge time saver. Suggestions included looking at the 658 MARC field to introduce a curriculum element.

It was noted that there was demand for automated  updating of bibliographic records. This would require a new process to ensure that library management systems can handle requests.   It was agreed that the ability to refresh bibliographic and authority records is an important one and further discussion is needed about whether models of linked data could address this problem.

SCIS Asks 2013: The view from the school library

Di Ruffles from Melbourne Grammar School was invited to set the scene for the SCIS Asks 2013 consultation forum and provide her wishlist for school library services.

Di Ruffles

Di Ruffles, Melbourne Grammar

Di stated her top five issues in school libraries as:

  1. Staffing
    Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential
  2. Budgets
    Plateauing of budget figures is a trend being noticed across many schools
  3. Resourcing the Australian Curriculum
    Phase 1 learning areas (English, Maths, History and Science) is a priority. Then resourcing of new learning areas.
  4. Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
    Development of programs and resources to support these and,
  5. Australian Curriculum Cross curriculum priority areas

At her school Di noted, iPads are being used through the school with Year 12 providing their own choice of device. Students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. E-Books are causing issues importing into the various devices in a  BYOT school environment.

Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is  featuring increasingly. Particularly useful apps include  an app for the library catalogue as well as the EasyBib app  which means students can scan  a book’s ISBN for a  citation.

For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobooks and digital video library (eg. Clickview).   Journals and databases of e-journals are used extensively. Di is seeing less use of the print non–fiction collection. Non-fiction eBooks are used but not necessarily a preferred option for all students. Students are not so fussed with format but the item must be relevant.

Di looked at the changing role of the teacher librarian and used ‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones  to highlight the  multifaceted role of teacher librarians. Evaluating resources is an important focus for teacher librarians, as is digital citizenship and educating students about  plagiarism. The library’s website includes research guides (which suggests catalogue subject headings) and  a Harvard style referencing tool.

Di highlighted how teacher librarians at her school are working with classroom teachers, for example in a new subject for 2014, Extended Investigation (inspired by International Baccalaureate) which aims to develop student’s capacity to identify and ask good questions, research an area of interest in depth and prepare for university level study.