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.

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


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!

Highlights of Connections 99


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

It’s time: let’s improve schools’ perceptions of teacher librarians
Bev Novak recommends ways to encourage staff and students to make the most of teacher librarian skill sets.

Stopping the slide: improving reading rates in the middle school
After noticing a drop in borrowing rates as students entered the middle school, Narelle Keen gathered data and conducted student interviews to understand why. Narelle proposes recommendations to improve borrowing rates.

School libraries supporting literacy
Steph Ellis, librarian at Napier Boys’ High School, shares a range of library programs to promote a reading culture and increase literacy skills in schools.

Continue reading Highlights of Connections 99

Highlights of Connections 98

Here are the highlights from the latest issue of Connections, which is now available online.

The importance of school libraries in the Google Age

We continue to hear about the lack of trained library staff in schools, despite ongoing research indicating that the presence of teacher librarians lead to improved learning outcomes. Kay Oddone highlights the many benefits teacher librarians can bring to the wider school, and why their role is integral to the learning of both student and staff.

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with the CBCA

Jane O’Connell, an independent director at the Children’s Book Council of Australia, looks at how school library and teaching staff can get involved in Children’s Book Week, which will be running from 20–26 August in 2016.

Using social media to support school library services

Helen Stower and Margaret Donaghue, from Mt Alvernia College’s iCentre, write about their experiences using social media as a communication platform for their school’s library. They highlight the importance of libraries sharing their stories, and discuss the need to develop social media guidelines in order to minimise potential risks.

Continue reading Highlights of Connections 98