Implementation in Australian and overseas libraries is expected in mid 2011. Internationally, the National Library of Australia is working with the Library of Congress, British Library, and Library and Archives Canada to develop implementation strategies and coordinate implementation dates. Within Australia, the Australian Committee on Cataloguing is preparing a plan for implementation and training.”
For its sheer enthusiasm, one of my favourite blog posts of the new year was by Stephanie Zimmerman for the ALA Learning blog, on the subject of feral learning activities and personal learning environments (commonly referred to as PLEs).
Feral learning is autodidactism, in a nutshell – an individualised learning experience in which the user takes responsibility for their own training needs and education, while PLEs support the feral learning/autodidactic experience by allowing the user to create a highly individualised, digital environment where they can gather together a variety of resources in the same place.
More and more, the internet is becoming a source of readily available, credible professional resources, and a great first step in creating your own PLE is setting up an RSS aggregator (also more commonly referred to an RSS reader), like Google Reader, Bloglines, or Newsgator. RSS readers allow you to ‘pull’ information from different sites that have RSS feeds, and then display it all on the one web page – which means that instead of bouncing from site to site to find relevant information, you can have it all ‘delivered’ straight to your reader, as if it were your own personal online newspaper.
Adding sources to your RSS reader is as easy as locating a site that has an RSS feed (and most regularly updated sites do now), and then clicking on the RSS feed link to subscribe to it. Any new content added to that site will then automatically appear in your reader. Not for nothing does RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication – it actually is! There are numerous other tools available on the internet that can also be used to create and improve PLEs, but RSS readers are free, web-based (so you don’t have to download any special programs in order to start using them), easy to set up and use and they do a great job.
In their article, Things that keep us up at night (School Library Journal, issue 10, 1 October 2009), Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson argue that modern practice in libraries is directly linked to equitable access to information, and that teacher librarians should be at the forefront in coming to grips with the changes in the informational landscapes. While we all know that in many schools unrealistic and occasionally absurd internet policies, and a lack of funding for professional development can make it difficult for libraries at times to live up to the best of modern practice, perhaps dangling the carrot of free professional development in front of the principal’s nose might be a way of combating a lack of flexibility in the school’s internet security policy? At the very least, we owe it to ourselves and our users to try, and setting up RSS readers for yourself and your library staff is a great way to demonstrate the ease with which Web 2.0 tools might be integrated into your school’s professional development programme.
The video below contains step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own Google reader account. Videos showing how to set up a Bloglines or Newsgator RSS feeds can also be found by searching on YouTube. For some interesting sites that also feature RSS feeds, check out our blogroll on the right-hand side panel of this page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed!
As you are probably aware, on 1 January 2007 the expansion of the International Standard Book Number from 10 digits to 13 was implemented.
The 13-digit ISBN was implemented to make it compatible with EAN-13 barcoding standards, which means that the ISBN and the barcode are now able to be the same number. Formerly the barcode was usually a conversion of the 10-digit ISBN which appeared printed inside the book, but some publishers chose to use barcode numbers which did not relate to the ISBN in any way.
It is now standard for publishers to assign the same 13-digit number for both the ISBN and the barcode number, allowing SCIS users to conveniently scan it into the Orders page in SCISWeb to retrieve their records. However, SCIS users should be aware that books published in or before 2006 may have a barcode that does not relate at all to the ISBN, which may result in their records being unmatched when they try to download them in SCISWeb. Where this is the case, you will need to type the ISBN in manually in order to retrieve the correct SCIS record. Very rarely, recently published books may also be issued with barcodes that do not match the ISBN, although the standard has been widely adopted by most major publishing companies.
Currently, when ordering in SCISWeb, it does not matter whether you enter the 10- or 13-digit ISBN in your order – as long as it is the correct ISBN! SCISWeb will automatically convert the different ISBNs behind the scenes and retrieve the record. This is because all 13-digit ISBNs with the 978 prefix are able to be converted from from 10-digit ISBNs to 13-digit ISBNs and vice versa. Once all the numbers with a 978 prefix are used up, ISBNs will have a 979 prefix and will no longer have a 10-digit ISBN equivalent – making it impossible to convert them to a valid 10-digit ISBN. It also should be noted that the process of converting a 10-digit ISBN to an ISBN-13 does not simply require the numbers 978 to be added to the start of the old 10-digit ISBN. If in doubt, an online ISBN converter is freely available from the US ISBN Agency. If you haven’t already done so you may wish to reconfigure your barcode scanner to read ISBN-13.
You can also elect to have all ISBNs output in 13-digit format by changing your preferences in My Profile. Unfortunately, this conversion functionality is not available to those of you who download records via Z39.50 (also known as Rapid Entry or Z-Cataloguing). Because Z39.50 bypasses the SCISWeb interface to access the SCIS database directly without going through the SCISWeb interface, any import parameters (such as ISBN conversions) must be set up in the user’s local system.
The 2009-10 ELR school library survey has now been sent out to 600 schools. If you are one of our selected schools for the 2009/10 survey, please complete and return the survey to SCIS before the 13th of November 2009, and do your part to support amazing Australian authors like Tohby Riddle, whose 2009 CBC short-listed picture book, Nobody owns the moon is the subject of this lovely display at St. Matthew’s Primary School library in North Fawkner.
For more information about ELR see our earlier blog post on the subject, and remember, each issue of Connections also features news and information about the ELR survey.
This month our feature article is about how libraries worldwide are utilising Twitter to communicate with their users (you might like to check out SCIS on Twitter too!).
We also have a fabulous article Are schools killing off the library? from British screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce (Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie, and the CILIP Carnegie Medal-winning novel, Millions) who argues that the current fad of renaming school libraries with the unimaginative moniker, Learning Resource Centre, is responsible for disconnecting “reading from the world of pleasure, from the world at all“, and is indicative of a failure by educational institutions to recognise that children need to enjoy reading in order to become competent at it.
Over the next month or so, SCIS will be undertaking a project to enhance existing Clickview catalogue records on the SCIS database. The project will involve adding the ClickView global ID and 2 series statements to each of the 1400 Clickview records we have catalogued to date. Adding the global ID will provide each Clickview record with a unique identifier, which should aid matching of SCIS and Clickview metadata in local systems, and the series statements should facilitate searching.
To incorporate this new information into the records, we will be utilising the following MARC fields: the 035 (system control number), the 500 (general note), and the 830 (Series added entry) fields. We will be using the 500 field rather than the 490 (Series statement) field because the series is not actually stated anywhere on the items. An abbrieviated example of the MARC coding for the enhanced records is below (note that this example record does not include all the fields that would normally appear in a SCIS record), and we’ll posting here and on the SCIS website once the enhancements have been completed.
…and were sadly disappointed by the lack of books and general “hive-like activity” … 🙁
We did give them a very nice powerpoint presentation on SCIS cataloguing and subject access though, so hopefully they thought it was worth the trip anyway! Thanks to the magic of Slideshare I was able to include the powerpoint below for those who are interested in SCIS cataloguing standards and subject access in general.
The ELR school library survey is about to begin for 2009 with sample schools receiving a package which includes information on the survey and how (quick and easy it is) to participate. Issue 69 of connections features the musings of teacher librarian Chris Kilfoyle of Leopold Primary School on her experiences at one of our survey schools and the importance of supporting our home-grown talent. Check out page 13 of Connections too, which features regular information about ELR.
The Educational Lending Right is an Australian cultural program, established with the purpose of ensuring Australian creators (authors, illustrators, translators, compilers and editors) and publishers received fair recompense for income lost from the availability of their books in educational lending libraries; and also as a way of supporting the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing and publishing. The ELR is administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), and is based on the results of The Educational Lending Right school library survey, undertaken annually by SCIS on behalf of DEWHA, which surveys the library holdings of more than 600 schools throughout Australia. For more information, DEWHA’s ELR page has general info on how ELR is administered and distributed.
Unfortunately copyright restrictions precluded me from posting an actual book cover image to acccompany this post, so I’ve compromised with the above creative commons image, taken from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwl/ / CC BY 2.0
A private preparatory school in New England has done away with it’s collection of more than 200,000 printed books in one of its campus libraries, in order to implement a digital learning centre (ie. library) that contains no printed material whatsoever. Scary? Just a little. The way of the future? Maybe not yet..
The Chronicle of Higher Education, By Jeffrey R. Young
Discusses the pros and cons of e-textbooks, and whether they’re really set to replace the printed text. The Arizona State University is participating in a e-textbook experiment supported by Amazon, using the Kindle e-book reader, and the results to date have been mixed.
A fairly general article about different initiatives being undertaken by public libraries in the U.S., and how the role of the library (and the librarian!) is changing in the face of new technologies. Hardly exhaustive, but it’s an interesting starting point for discussions about digital medias in the library.
The image of the ebook reader above is from Flickr creative commons.