SCIS Data case study: Chris Archbold, Riccarton Primary School, NZ

‘SCIS makes a consistent catalogue. If all the primary schools around New Zealand are using SCIS, they are all getting the same information. This means that students can move from school to school and know that they are still going to get good, consistent search results.’

School: Riccarton Primary School
Type: Government school for years 1–8
Enrolment: 284
Cataloguing subscription: SCIS Data
Library management system: MUSAC
Size of collection: 4,200

Chris Archbold opens her library each morning at 8.30 am to an enthusiastic crowd of library-goers, and she relishes in the buzz created by students. Chris is the library manager at Riccarton Primary School in Christchurch, in New Zealand’s South Island.

This buzz is the telltale sign of a school community enthusiastic about their library. ‘We are buzzing here in the morning and again at lunch times,’ Chris says. ‘Some kids are having chat sessions, some kids are borrowing books, and some kids are reading books. To be able to sit at the OPAC and find what they are looking for is really important, so to have the best possible search options is fantastic.’

Chris has been using SCIS for her library cataloguing for more than 10 years, which helps her save time and make library resources discoverable to Riccarton Primary School’s enthusiastic staff and students. Students are able to access the catalogue containing more than 4,000 titles from the library and all classrooms within the school. With the help of SCIS Data, students can easily search for relevant titles before locating them in the library.

Enhancing resource discoverability

As the library manager, Chris’s role is vast and varied. ‘I am in charge of keeping the library in order, purchasing new books, repairing old books, and circulating and displaying books — you name it, I do it!’ Chris sees the library as a place to ‘encourage reading and to be available for students who want to read. Having a librarian means that they can have that support’.

Chris is passionate about the role of high quality, consistent catalogue records in allowing students to find what they are looking for. ‘It’s absolutely essential for students to be able to find and locate any of the resources that they need, whether it be websites or books,’ Chris explains.

Chris understands that SCIS’s high quality records are crucial for the discoverability of her library resources. ‘It makes a consistent catalogue,’ she says. ‘If all the primary schools around New Zealand are using SCIS, they are all getting the same information. This means that students can move from school to school and know that they are still going to get good, consistent search results.’

Chris uses z-cataloguing, which means that she can search and download SCIS records without leaving her library management system, MUSAC. ‘I can’t imagine using any program other than SCIS. I know that the national library offers a free service, but I find SCIS covers more of what I need, so I’ve stuck with it,’ Chris says. ‘It’s great. It’s been the best thing.’

Catalogue records suited to schools

Prior to using SCIS, Chris used Numerical and Alphabetical Subject Headings for Primary Schools. She then briefly moved to Te Patakataka. ‘From there, I went on to SCIS. I have to say, SCIS was like a dream come true. It is just so fast!’ she exclaims.

‘SCIS is relevant to our school community, which is very multicultural. Most of our students can access information they are searching for because of the wide coverage of subject headings that are used,’ Chris continues. SCIS has subject headings suitable for use by students, making it a user-friendly option that matches terminology used in schools.

In addition to managing the Riccarton Primary School library, Chris also teaches students with special needs. As the library manager, Chris is perfectly suited to helping young students become confident readers. Chris particularly enjoys sharing books from the Rainbow Reading program with students who struggle to read. Rainbow Reading is an audio-facilitated reading program that supplies books with activity sheets and interactive pens. When pressed to dots on the page, the pens read sentences aloud so that students can follow along.

Chris is clearly committed to ensuring the students at Riccarton Primary School have access to books that support student learning and enhances their literacy skills. SCIS Data means that those resources are quickly catalogued and made available to students looking for the next title to delight, inspire, or inform them.

Chris’s verdict

For schools not yet using SCIS, Chris recommends to ‘use it, try it, and see what you think!’ Her enthusiasm for SCIS is evident as she continues: ‘I just love the whole program, and particularly love the fact that it’s got so many subject headings. It is fantastic.’

For a free trial of SCIS, please complete our trial registration form. Experience SCIS Data for yourself, commitment-free.

These interview extracts have been lightly edited and reordered where necessary to improve readability and clarity.

SCIS Data case study: Caroline Roche, Eltham College, UK


‘Yesterday, a student asked for a book on Emmanuel Macron. It will be delivered today, and I will be able to catalogue it within five minutes because SCIS is quick. I’ll have it in her hands this afternoon.’

School: Eltham College
Type: Independent school for boys (aged 7–18) and girls (aged 16–18)
Enrolment: 850
Cataloguing subscription: SCIS Data + Authority Files
Library management system: Accessit
Size of collection: 11,780 in junior library; 22,665 in senior library

Eltham College, a high-performing independent school in South East London, focuses on the core business of school libraries: providing access. Librarian Caroline Roche works in the senior school library, supported by a library assistant and a school community enthusiastic about the library’s role. Spread over three floors, Eltham College’s senior library provides space for students to study, read and gather during break times. In a library that prides itself on immediate access, SCIS Data contributes to their fast-turnaround workflow.

Continue reading SCIS Data case study: Caroline Roche, Eltham College, UK

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.

Continue reading Enhance your library collection with digital content

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

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

Highlights of Connections 103

Here are the highlights from Connections issue 103, which is now available online. You can also download a copy of the full-text PDF.

Reimagining the library landscape: an approach to school library design
Carey Baptist Grammar School recently rebuilt their middle and senior library. Anne Whisken outlines their library’s approach to designing learning spaces, ensuring all students’ needs are catered for.

Continue reading Highlights of Connections 103

Highlights of Connections 102

Here are the highlights from Connections issue 102, which is now available online. To download a PDF of the latest issue, please select this link.

Tinkering, making and building in the school library
With the increasing popularity of makerspaces in schools, school libraries are frequently seen as the leaders in hands-on technologies such as coding and robotics. Jackie Child shares ideas for engaging students with computational thinking — and resources to make it as easy as possible for library staff.

Continue reading Highlights of Connections 102

Highlights of Connections 101

Here are the highlights from Connections issue 101, which is now available online. To download a PDF of the latest issue, please select this link.

Leadership is not optional – it’s a job requirement
In order to promote libraries as indispensable to the education community, the school library industry needs more leaders. Hilda Weisburg looks at how to step out of your comfort zone and into the leadership role.

Librarians in the digital age: experts in e-health
Susan Marshall explains how the school librarian’s role is central in developing students’ digital literacy and e-health, and introduces a free website to support online safety.

What do our students really want?
Megan Stuart, teacher librarian at Canterbury College, surveyed her students to discover what drew them into their resource centre — and what it could do to draw them in more.

Ebooks: to subscribe, or not to subscribe?
Teacher librarian at Singleton High School, Martin Gray, weighs the arguments for and against ebooks in schools.

Navigating the information landscape through collaboration
Elizabeth Hutchinson, Head of Schools’ Library Service in Guernsey, writes that information literacy is at the centre of student learning, making the role of library staff as important as ever.

Library catalogues and the World Wide Web: it takes two to tango
Nicole Richardson explores the way library catalogues engage with the World Wide Web to create a rich, interactive search experience.

Continue reading Highlights of Connections 101

Highlights of Connections 100

Connections

Here are the highlights from the 100th issue of Connections, which is now available online. To download a PDF of the latest issue, please select this link.

Looking back: school library catalogues and the online revolution
Ex-SCIS manager Lance Deveson looks back on teacher librarianship over the past 40 years, including the introduction of automated cataloguing and the early days of SCIS and Connections.

Leigh Hobbs on school libraries and storytelling
SCIS speaks to Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs about his experiences in school libraries, children’s literature, storytelling, and creating characters.

Collector, curator or collaborator?
Jennie Bales, adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, celebrates the collaborative ethos inherent in school library professionals.

Guerilla book fair: getting staff involved in your school library
UK-based school librarian Lucas Maxwell recommends ways to encourage teachers to make use of school libraries.

The future role of the teacher librarian
As the scope of information and technology continues to expand, Dr James Herring considers what impact this will have on the role of teacher librarians.

Let’s talk seriously about series
SCIS cataloguer Julie Styles explains the challenges of cataloguing items within series.

We welcome any feedback you have about this issue, or any ideas you have for future Connections articles. Please email connections@esa.edu.au.

Happy reading!