SCIS (Schools Catalogue Information Service) was created with the aim of providing schools with access to a database of consistent catalogue records created according to agreed national standards, in order to reduce the cost and duplication of effort of cataloguing resources in schools. Since its inception, SCIS has been responsible for improving the quality and consistency of cataloguing materials for schools.
Educational Lending Right (ELR) is an Australian cultural program administered by the Office for the Arts, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. ELR scheme makes payments to eligible Australian creators and publishers whose books are held in school libraries.
600 schools have been invited to participate in this year’s Educational Lending Right school library survey. If you are one of the lucky ones chosen, we hope you are able to follow the instructions to provide a data file report or back-up file. And that is the survey done!This year participants will be given a $20 gift voucher from Curriculum Press, redeemable until end of term 1 2011. More information is available about Educational Lending Right.
You can read the latest issue of Connections online. Copies have been mailed to all Australian schools.
There are articles of interest for everyone involved in school library activities. Let us know what you think of this issue.
Thinking about ebooks
Ebook demonstration at Web 2.0 expo, San Francisco 2010, courtesy of Flickr
Stephen Abram describes and discusses the ebook, looking at what it is, and what it is not. He discusses fiction versus non-fiction, reference material and textbooks, and how the ebook can enhance usability. Read more …
Your school library collection: a catalyst for creating writers
Maxine Ramsay discusses the use of text types in the teaching of writing to young students. She explains how teachers and library staff can identify and assist in the effective discovery of good text examples within their library collection. Read more …
The highs and lows of establishing an online community
Kerry Franta describes EnhanceTV’s experience of creating an online community. It is important for members to share a common interest and to be passionate enough about it to contribute online. Read more …
Digital participation, digital literacy and schools
Through developing digital literacy in their students, educators are enhancing young people’s ability to use digital media, strengthening their knowledge and learning skills, as well as providing them with the capacity to participate and interact in wider social and cultural settings. Read more …
From little things big things grow
The third instalment of Nigel Paull’s account of a new BER library focuses on library design essentials. Read more …
During July and August 2010 SCIS cataloguers took advantage of the free trial period to preview Resource Description and Access (RDA), the new standard which is intended to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2).
SCIS will make initial preparations for the implementation of RDA by activating new MARC fields in our Voyager library management system when we upgrade to Voyager version 7 during the latter part of 2010. This will allow us to produce test records created according to RDA rules and evaluate the likely impact for schools. We will of course be consulting with school library management system vendors to ensure that any changes to SCIS records are compatible with school library systems.
RDA changes likely to have the most impact on school library systems are the replacement of the GMD with three new MARC fields: 336 (Content type), 337 (Media type) and 338 (Carrier type). For example a DVD title coded according to AACR2 as:
Most of the other RDA changes can be readily accommodated in the MARC fields currently used by SCIS. These changes will impact on data consistency rather than systems. For example in RDA the abbreviations N.T. and O.T. are spelled out as New Testament and Old Testament, but omitted in headings for individual books of the Bible. Thus a heading such as Bible. N.T. Corinthians becomes simply Bible. Corinthians.
In June 2010 we invited SCIS subscribers to respond to a user survey, as part of a strategic review of SCIS. This review is being undertaken by library consulting company Libraries Alive! The review is to develop strategies to ensure that SCIS continues to meet the needs of its users into the future.
We were delighted to receive more than 1300 responses, which is a high response rate for a survey. Thank you to all the schools who took time to provide us with their views. Your comments clearly show that time savings are fundamental to the appeal of SCIS.
The consultants have delivered a draft report which notes the many benefits our customers experience using SCISWeb. These include school-ready subject headings, consistent quality records, effective support and use of the database to identify materials for purchase or classroom use. More information about the outcomes of the review will be provided here in our blog when the final report is available.
SCIS Authority Files (SCIS AF) have been updated with Edition 2 2010.
Once logged into SCISWeb at http://scis.curriculum.edu.au the Authority Files tab is available to open the SCIS AF page, if you have a current subscription. Several Education Departments (NSW, WA and SA) support their schools with access to SCIS AF.
SCIS AF are separate index files of authorised names and subjects used as access points in SCIS catalogue records, and are released twice a year as downloadable files ready for implementation in your library management system.
All SCIS catalogue records downloaded from SCISWeb contain authorised SCIS Subject Headings but no cross-references to other related terms to support user searching in the local OPAC. See and See also references between related terms are important for assisting the user to find resources on similar subjects.
What is the longest running children’s festival in Australia?
Who is the national patron of the Children’s Book Council of Australia?
What is the theme of this year’s Book Week?
Where can you find the Short List and Notables List for the categories for Children’s Book of the Year?
Questions that any library would be happy to answer! Find the answers to these questions and more information from CBCA’s Book Week. The pages contain great ideas for celebrating Book Week in school libraries. There are also links to other sites which have created resources for promoting Book Week, which is celebrated from 21 to 27 August 2010.
Book Week helps encourage Australian book creation. Our children should have access to Australian literature as part of their reading development. Who do you think will win in the five categories? This year’s Children’s Book of the Year is announced on Friday 20 August 2010. We will have to wait for the big announcements which are usually reported in the major newspapers the next day.
On 12 July 2010 Education Services Australia (ESA) was represented at the Adelaide hearing of the Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. Also appearing were representatives of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA), the Joint Use Libraries Association of Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Public Libraries South Australia, Friends of Libraries Australia and the University of South Australia (UniSA).
Thanks to the Parliament of Australia’s live broadcasting program we were able to listen to the hearing from Melbourne, posting some of the significant issues from the hearing to twitter! ESA’s position is that national collaborative services such as SCIS and edna provide essential tools for teacher librarians in delivering services to their users. Our key recommendation is for an adequate distribution of funding for the ongoing development of school library staff in both specific library-related professional development and as a key element of whole school development.
ALIA and UniSA both argued for a need to expand tertiary education options for teacher librarians and to educate teachers in information literacy skills. The Friends of Libraries Australia emphasised that the relationship and connection between school and public libraries needs to occur more systematically and can’t work without teacher librarians.
An article in AdelaideNow highlights the popularity of libraries in South Australia and briefly reports on the concerns about teacher librarian shortages and funding which were raised at the hearing.
As a result of the Educational Lending Right (ELR) 2009-10 School Library Survey, a list has been compiled of the top 100 Australian books.
Again Mem Fox tops the list with Possum magic, as she has every year we have published the top 100 list. Mem has a total of 7 titles in the list. The author with the most titles is Emily Rodda with 20 titles, followed by Paul Jennings with 14 titles. Morris Gleitzman comes in third with 9 titles in the list.
The top 100 Australian books list could be useful for promoting Australian books and reading. It is available on the SCIS ELR web page as a word document so you can adapt it for your use.
We are delighted to let you know about some recent enhancements to SCISWeb.
Book cover images are now supplied by a daily online process rather than in monthly batches. This enhancement makes it more likely that you will get matching cover images for recently catalogued items when an order is first placed.
Some SCIS subscribers like to print out the results of their orders and we had requests for the print format to be improved from Internet Explorer. An enhancement has been made so the print output is now in a clear readable font.
Another change is to the link colours. These are now consistent with link colours on the SCIS public web pages. This enhancement will be particularly useful in keeping track of activity on the create orders page, as links that you have followed will be a different colour and the fonts are easier to read.
Many enhancements have been made as a result of our subscribers suggestions. Using Contact SCIS from any SCIS web page provides an opportunity for you to let us know if there is a change you would like to see, or you can add your comments to this blog.