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.
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.
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.
The term 2 issue of Connections is published online at the SCIS website and features the following articles of interest to school library staff.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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 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.
1. Subscribers wishing to bring up a full list of Campfire Films should use ‘Campfire Film Foundation’ as a search term
2. The search will bring up all the 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Belinda Doyle illustrates how Erskine Park High School library promotes and supports literacy and learning through the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, collaborating with teaching colleagues to meet wider reading outcomes.
SCIS catalogues apps and has introduced the term as a subject heading. Kay Cantwell provides a timely and practical introduction to apps and their management within the educational and library context.