The Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) is working with several major school library management system vendors in Australia and New Zealand to revolutionise how library catalogue records are distributed to schools.
For anyone who may follow us on social media, or has chatted to the team recently, you may be aware that SCIS keeps talking about our ‘big infrastructure upgrade’. This is the result of three years of quantitative and qualitative market research – thank you once again to everyone who has provided feedback along the way.
So here’s a little more detail about what a SCIS infrastructure upgrade means, and why we’re so excited.
Since early 2014, SCIS has been working through its RDA implementation plan. For those who are not familiar with RDA, it stands for Resource Description and Access, the cataloguing standard introduced to replace Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AARC2).
SCIS is very pleased to announce the next major step in that plan. From April 2017, SCIS will cease use of the GMD (General Material Designation), a set of deprecated terms used to describe the ‘Type’ of resource.
SCIS will now use the RDA cataloguing standard of ‘Content, media and carrier type’ to describe the resource. This comes after consultation with, and preparation by, the library management systems who distribute SCIS metadata. While use of RDA for type was adopted as a SCIS cataloguing standard in 2013, GMD was maintained in order to support older systems, a move which is no longer necessary.
Traditionally, library fiction collections have been organised by author surnames, though many libraries are now ‘genrefying’ their collections, following a model reminiscent of bookstores. This may be through genre stickers on book spines, the physical arrangement of the collection, or both, and means that students are able to browse within their preferred genres.
We are pleased to announce that SCISWeb profile settings have been updated to include genre preferences, which will determine the placement of the genre headings in MARC records downloaded from the SCIS orders page.
Genre headings have historically been included in the ‘Topical Term’ field (MARC 650), grouped with other SCISSHL and ScOT terms. The new update provides the option to have genre headings classified separately, in the ‘Genre/Form’ field (MARC 655). This means your library management system will register these as specific genres, and will enable your catalogue users to search and browse via these headings.
There has been some discussion at SCIS about how schools treat picture books that rhyme. It has been SCIS practice to classify stories in rhyme picture books as poetry, with each book allocated a Dewey Decimal number. However, feedback in workshops and surveys indicate that this did not reflect the preferred classification in schools.
The Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) meets regularly to discuss and make revisions to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry, and this issue was recently discussed during a teleconference with the committee. The decision was made on behalf of the ISSC to classify stories in rhyme picture books as fiction, intending to make browsing easier for students and staff in schools. This will also save you the time spent changing the classifications manually.
We want to make sure our catalogue records continue to meet the needs of our subscribers. Can you spare ten minutes to complete this survey so we can understand how resources are being managed in school libraries?
All survey respondents will go in the draw to win a $250 book card.
Recent SCIS workshops and presentations have focused on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of digital content. As a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries SCIS is committed to helping schools deal with collection management issues, and provides catalogue records for e-books, websites, apps, audio books, learning objects and digital video.
SCIS, along with the library world globally, is implementing the new Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloguing standards – the first major change to take place since the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, second edition (AACR2) were released in 1978.
SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry 2013 edition
The standards that govern SCIS cataloguing have been rewritten and the new 2013 edition has now been published. This extensive document available as a PDF download from the SCIS Help page, is written for SCIS cataloguing staff and runs to 209 pages. The sections most affected by RDA include:
Section 2: Descriptive cataloguing
Section 5: Standards for specific formats, and
Section 6: MARC coding: Bibliographic records
SCIS cataloguers will commence using these standards on 1 July 2013. SCIS major decisions
SCIS has consulted with library system providers in Australian and New Zealand school libraries and has decided to move slowly towards full RDA implementation. From 1 July 2013 – 1 July 2014 SCIS will produce hybrid RDA records which continue to use the GMD from AACR2, and which will also retain the 260 Publication field rather than the new 264 field: Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice, used by most systems using RDA.
RDA test records
The following records have been added to SCIS so library system providers and SCIS subscribers can test any impact of the change in standards on their systems.
Please note that ISBNs have been removed from these records so they are not accidentally retrieved through SCISWeb or Z39.50. Normal SCIS records will continue to include the ISBN where available.
Have you checked out the new SCIS Catalogue launched last week?
As well as a fresh look, there are a number of features that will be appreciated by SCIS users.
The search limits available in previous versions of SCIS OPAC are still available (year, place, type, format and language), but search limits have been supplemented in this version of the Catalogue by the ability to filter the results following your initial search. These filters are found in the right hand column of the search results page.
Log in to the SCIS Catalogue and try the filters on a search for World Cup.
If you have requests for other filters you would like to see included as default, please let us know.
A new timeout countdown feature alerts you if your search session has been idle for some time and is about to be reset.
Extension to the timeout period is also being trialled following a server upgrade.
The new SCIS Catalogue is designed to display well and resize for use on various mobile devices.
The SCIS Catalogue is now on a separate server at address: http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au which means it can function independently in the event of downtime on other SCIS services such as SCISWeb. If your network settings or firewall need to be changed as a result, please contact SCIS for the IP address of this server.
email messages to subscribers.
Please ensure you have a valid email address registered with SCIS so that we can keep you informed. Simply log in to SCISWeb, and go to My Profile to add or update your email address.
The SCIS Information Services Standards Committee met by teleconference on 25 May 2011. The major outcome of the teleconference is a revision of the SCIS subject heading hierarchy covering types of computers and device names.
The New South Wales SCIS agency prepared the original paper which was raised for discussion in February 2011. As the paper was complex and included many aspects of the subject area of computers and related devices, further discussion and consultation, particularly with the WA SCIS agency was required before the proposal was approved.
New headings for the following categories of devices are now available:
Digital media players
Most of these headings allow for the construction of further headings for specific devices, such as iPad (Tablet computer) and Kindle (E-book reader).
Further details of the changes will be announced in the term 3 2011 issue of Connections (issue 78).