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 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).
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 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.
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.
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, Melbourne Grammar
Di stated her top five issues in school libraries as:
Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential
Plateauing of budget figures is a trend being noticed across many schools
- Resourcing the Australian Curriculum
Phase 1 learning areas (English, Maths, History and Science) is a priority. Then resourcing of new learning areas.
- Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
Development of programs and resources to support these and,
- 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.
The Campfire Film Foundation provides schools access to short films which promote understanding and discussion about meaningful issues including many curriculum areas. SCIS provides bibliographic records for these films in the database. Here is a quick guide to accessing a full list of Campfire Films on the SCIS catalogue.
Campfire Film Foundation
1. Subscribers wishing to bring up a full list of Campfire Films should use ‘Campfire Film Foundation’ as a search term
Use ‘Campfire Film Foundation’ as a search term
2. The search will bring up all the titles distributed through Campfire Film Foundation.
Titles distributed through Campfire Film Foundation
3. Click on the title that you are interested in and the full bib record looks like this including summary. Subscribers can use the SCIS number to order bib records using the SCISWeb Orders screen or Z39.50.
The full SCIS record
Philip Hider, Head of the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University presented his vision for the future of the library catalogue for the SCIS Consultation 2013.
Information Resource Description:
SCIS no. 1624199
ISBN 978 1 85604 667 1
Based on his latest book, Information Resource Description: creating and managing metadata (2012) published by Facet, Philip outlined three approaches to metadata creation, and considered how cataloguing services like SCIS might develop a hybrid model around these three approaches into the future.
- content-based retrieval, eg. search engines
- metadata-based retrieval: socially generated
- metadata-based retrieval: professional description:
Philip’s vision for future library systems included:
- Finding, identifying and obtaining supported mostly by content-based systems
- Selecting supported by user reviews & professional metadata
- Navigation supported by controlled vocabularies
Phillip recommended that future priorities for SCIS should include providing metadata for key resource to support curriculum in controlled fields, to support tagging done by teachers and students and to manage or co-manage controlled vocabularies such as ScOT.
This SCIS Asks 2013 presentation by Alan Manifold, Digital and Library Applications Manager at the State Library of Victoria sets the future of library discovery architecture in the context of the evolution of library systems and search. Alan outlined the purpose of metadata as being to:
Ben Chadwick and Alan Manifold
He postulated that the format of the item no longer matters, it is about providing connections between resource and curriculum and resources inside and outside the library. The catalogue which was once designed for inventory control has morphed into a search engine.
Alan posed questions about the evolution in libraries and catalogues in the age of electronic resources, searchable full text and mega-aggregate sites. He touched upon discovery products such as EBSCO, WorldCat Local and the State Library of Victoria’s Primo Central. A useful observation was that while school students need authoritative information as soon as possible, they tend not to require a specific title or edition of a work.
His advice was that SCIS needs to provide connections between resources and curriculum and external indexes and search platforms. He recommends SCIS
- continue to provide quality metadata
- increase the connecting of resources with curriculum
- work on linking controlled vocabularies
- highlight diversity of resources and formats and
- explore ways to rate materials
Education Services records its thanks to Alan for his clear thinking and recommendations.
It’s that time of year again. Christmas is rapidly approaching and end of year celebrations are just around the corner for Australian and New Zealand schools.
To read about some of the quirkier aspects of Kiwi Christmases past and present, schools can visit New Zealand History Online [SCIS 1486174]. New Zealand schools will also find Christmas resources on TKI. Schools interested in Australian Christmas traditions can visit the Australian Government site [SCIS 1637519]. Anyone looking for a more general history of Christmas could explore the BBC’s site [SCIS 1235815].
New Zealand students can write a letter to Santa from the New Zealand Post website. Australian students use Australia Post [SCIS 1637538], where there is also a range of interactive games and lesson ideas.
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent
There are a number of Christmas themed websites with student activities from craft ideas, recipes, jokes, videos, music, stories, colouring sheets and interactive games. Primary Games: Christmas [SCIS 1637543], Disney’s Spoonful: Christmas [SCIS 1485028] and Activity Village: Christmas crafts [SCIS 1481860] are three of the best.
If you are looking for some creative ideas for Christmas displays in your library it is worth visiting the Creative Library Displays blog.
And we can’t forget about all those classic Christmas stories. Wombat Divine written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent [SCIS 1436850] is one of our favourites.
To search for further Christmas resources in SCIS select a subject search and search one of the SCIS headings listed below [SCIS login required].
SCIS Subject search for Christmas
- Christmas entertainments
- Santa Claus
Other useful subject headings
- Christmas cookery
- Christmas decorations
- Christmas trees
- Christmas music
- Christmas services
Post by Clare Kennedy, RMIT industry placement 2013
The Readers’ Cup is a free competition for schools to enter teams. It aims to support and encourage readers and reading. When I was a teacher librarian at OLMC in Heidelberg we had participated several times. We ran the competition out of the school library and sponsored the winning team into the finals. Teams are quizzed on their knowledge of the books that they have read and make a creative response to one of the titles using web 2.0 tools. This is an activity that runs well in structured library lessons.
Lottie and the Wishbird. Photo by Michael Jongen CC-by
Judith Way started the Readers Cup, initially with SLAV but for the last couple of years they have been held at Quantum. As Judith says
“The Readers’ Cup is not funded at all – we simply give our time to encourage students to read and to love book.”
It was a pleasure this year to be involved by being asked to be one of the judges . It was lovely to see the knowledge that the students had of the books and to watch their presentations giving their emotional and creative responses to the books. There was a shared spirit of enthusiasm and love for reading in the room. You can find a report on the Readers’ cup here.
You can find out how to go about running the Victorian Readers Cup in your school and further information here.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia run Readers Cups in Queensland and Tasmania
What does the future hold for school library collections?
What is your school purchasing to resource changing curriculum? How are you managing digital content. How can schools make better use of school-owned learning resources?
SCIS is conducting a review of current issues and trends to inform future services.
Click here to assist with this survey
We would love to hear your ideas and experience in the following areas:
- access to school resources
- big issues facing school library collections
- types of resources that schools provide for use by students and teachers
- how teachers and students currently search for school resources
- how SCIS can assist you to provide improved access to your school’s resources
- how library management systems can assist you to provide improved access to your school’s resources
- potential new services from SCIS
This research builds on a pre-survey conducted in Term 3. The results will be published in Connections, Term 1 2014.
Thank you for your participation.
SCIS conducted its annual consultation workshop in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November 2013 from 9.30-3.30pm. The consultation engaged SCIS and its partners in discussion about future priorities in our support of school libraries.
Twitter hashtag for the day: #scisasks
9.30am Welcome and consultation goals: Victoria Johnson, General Manager Education Services Australia
9.40am The view from the school library: Di Ruffles, Melbourne Grammar School
10.00am SCIS update: [from slide 9] Pru Mitchell, Manager SCIS
- What are SCIS users asking for? How can SCIS and library system providers best serve school libraries?
10.30am Key issue: The future of identity for integration and personalisation
Nick Lothian, Developer ESA
- Key question: How can ESA and library systems work together to support integrated search and access across school-selected resources?
11.00am Morning Tea
11.30am Future of the catalogue: Panel
12.20pm Discussion and questions
- How should SCIS source, create or enhance catalogue data to meet future needs?
1.30pm Future of vocabularies Ben Chadwick, Metadata Analyst/SCIS System Administrator ESA
- Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) report
- Linked data developments
- Australian Curriculum alignment opportunities
2.10pm Resourcing of the curriculum project reports
2.50pm Final table discussion and recommendations
- Discussion and questions
Outcome: Recommendations on priority areas for SCIS services
If you cannot attend the Consultation you are invited to contribute via the SCIS Asks Survey