Where SCIS becomes much more … muchier

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.

A sparkly new SCIS website

It’s time for a change. We are building a new SCIS website to provide a simpler user experience, more intuitive help articles, and online payment options in multiple currencies. Renewal invoices will now be emailed to subscribers, rather than posted.

More importantly, subscribers will have access to richer search capabilities, ease of record download for print and digital content, and the capacity to track the status of cataloguing requests. The SCIS team, with vendor support, will be providing plenty of training for new and existing users.

The new website will be officially launched at ASLA 2017 and SLANZA 2017 – so if you’re attending one of these amazing conferences, please swing by to say hello and see the new SCIS system in action.

Data formats

We’re particularly pleased about the opportunities our new site will provide us as we move into the future. The library world is changing, with new practices, formats and standards, including Web 2.0, linked data, and FRBR to name a few. With the new site, SCIS will be well positioned to pioneer into these new frontiers.

The RDA journey

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).

Genre
From 1 April 2017, SCIS commenced cataloguing genre terms into the 655 field. On top of this, the SCIS team have been tinkering away with a project to retrospectively update all relevant records with genre terms. We are pleased to announce this project is now complete.

Publication Details
In another major RDA step, SCIS now catalogues items using the 264 MARC field for publication details instead of the deprecated 260 field.

Resource Type
SCIS has ceased use of the GMD (General Material Designation), a set of deprecated terms used to describe ‘Type’ of resource.  SCIS now uses the RDA cataloguing standard of ‘Content, media and carrier type’ to describe the resource. SCIS will be leveraging linked data technologies to provide user-friendly descriptions in our new catalogue through a brand new SCIS Resource Type vocabulary.

Cataloguing range

SCIS works to catalogue as much educational content as possible, and we’re particularly proud that our hit rate has increased year-on-year, to now be sitting at an average of 90%. As the market has changed, so has the content being used in libraries. In response to this, SCIS are now cataloguing a lot more digital material and a lot more international content. If you haven’t yet downloaded records for digital content into your library management system, you can read this article for some great reasons why you should.

A SCIStastic future

We have some pretty big plans for our new system. Right now we’re working towards release of a third authority – Series Authority – for 2018. If you’re after a reason why we love authorities (and why they are so important in school libraries) you can read our blog on the matter.

And the innovation won’t end there. Watch this space.

Continue reading Where SCIS becomes much more … muchier

Fare thee well, GMD

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.

Continue reading Fare thee well, GMD

SCIS cataloguing standards update: Dewey or don’t we?

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.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact scisinfo@esa.edu.au.

We are interested in learning more about how you manage resources so that our standards continue to reflect schools’ needs

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.

Genre Headings

It is SCIS policy to assign genre headings to works of fiction, including fictional films, television programs, etc. In some cases more than one genre heading may be assigned, as well as subject headings from a theme. Obviously not all SCIS records will contain a genre heading.

The ‘Guidelines to Using SCIS Subject Headings’ contains a comprehensive list of all the fiction genre headings used by SCIS  (see section 5.7).

To see which records in your library contain any of the above headings, you can do a subject search within your library system. Similarly, if you want to see which records on the SCIS database have been given genre headings, you can login to SCIS OPAC:

Go to Advanced options http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/searchAdvanced.

  1. In the ‘Search’ box type in the genre heading, for example ‘school stories.’
  2. Select ‘as a phrase’ from the drop down menu.
  3. Select ‘subject’ from the second drop down menu.
  4. Once you retrieve your results, you can then select ‘Publication (most recent first)’ from the ‘Sort by’ drop down menu.

Taking the guesswork out of genre by Brendan Eichholzer, from the latest issue of Connections, explores the issues of shelving by genre. He argues that ‘Knowing where each book lives is a key component of the job description.’

If you are thinking of genre-fying the library there are some excellent posts from colleagues outlining the processes they have gone through – here are two of them:

Genre-fying the Library! (3)

Genre Shelving In Progress.

genre

 

More RDA updates

SCIS hybrid RDA standards

RDA: Resource Description and Access is the cataloguing standard that replaced the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules in 2013. SCIS has been working on a staged implementation of RDA to manage the impact on school library systems and their users. When SCIS started using the transitional standards on 1 July 2013 the intention was to move completely to RDA on 1 July 2014. This timeline is not going to be possible.

SCIS has delayed the full implementation of RDA for a further 12 months.

Bible and Qur’an headings in SCIS

Background

Descriptions of resources created according to RDA instructions are easier for users to understand. Many of the obscure abbreviations previously used by cataloguers have been abandoned in favour of familiar language. This brings us to access points (both preferred titles and subject headings) for the Bible.

The Bible

Bible Bookmark by George Redgrave CC-by-nd
Bible Bookmark by George Redgrave CC-by-nd

Bible headings were previously constructed in this pattern:

Bible
Bible. N.T.
Bible. N.T. Luke
Bible. O.T.
Bible. O.T. Genesis
Bible stories – N.T.
Bible stories – N.T. Gospels
Bible stories – O.T.
Bible stories – O.T. Exodus

RDA has made two major changes. The abbreviations ‘N.T.’ and ‘O.T.’ are spelled out as ‘New Testament’ and ‘Old Testament’. Individual books of the Bible are entered directly under the heading ‘Bible’. The same list of headings now looks like this:

Bible
Bible. Genesis
Bible. Luke
Bible. New Testament
Bible. Old Testament
Bible stories – Exodus
Bible stories – Gospels
Bible stories – New Testament
Bible stories – Old Testament

The Qur’an

The conversion to RDA also provided the opportunity to use the more commonly transliterated form ‘Qur’an’ rather than ‘Koran’ for headings relating to this sacred text. This change does not apply to the transcription of titles or contents which may contain the word ‘Koran’. For example:

Text of the Qur’an
Preferred title: Qur’an
Title statement: The Koran / translated with notes by N.J. Dawood

Work about the Qur’an
Title statement: The Koran : a very short introduction
Subject heading Qur’an – Criticism, interpretation, etc.

Changes in the SCIS database

More than 650 authority records for the Bible and Qur’an, representing headings in over 5,000 bibliographic records were changed in SCIS in January 2014. This was accomplished using the global headings change facility in Voyager, the library management system used by SCIS. The first edition of SCIS authority files in 2014 contains these changed authority records.
‘Use for’ references have been provided for every individual book of the Bible, for example:

Bible. Luke
UF Bible. New Testament. Luke
Luke (Book of the New Testament)

These references allow users who include ‘New Testament’ or ‘Old Testament’ in their headings search, or search directly for the name of the book to be directed to the preferred heading.

Changes in SCIS subject headings
There were relatively few changes required for SCIS Subject Headings, which contain only selected examples and pointers as to how to construct subject headings for parts of the Bible and stories based on Biblical events. The opportunity was taken to include some extra instructions to assist cataloguers in devising Bible headings, for example:

Bible stories – New Testament
For retold or adapted stories from individual books of the New Testament, see headings such as Bible stories – Luke.

Changes in your library system

Individual library systems vary in their capacity to manage global changes. Depending on the nature of your collection and your library system, these changes may or may not represent a challenge. If you use SCIS authority files and your system is set up to automatically match headings in your database when you import the new authority file, the changes may be quite straightforward. In other cases you may need to ask your library system vendor or your user group for advice on how to manage the impact of these changes.

SCIS Asks 2013: The future of discovery systems

This SCIS Asks 2013 presentation by Alan Manifold, Digital and Library Applications Manager at the State Library of Victoria sets the future of library discovery architecture in the context of the evolution of library systems and search. Alan outlined the purpose of metadata as being to:

Alan Manifold and Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick and Alan Manifold
SCIS, CC-by-nc
  • Authorize
  • Limit
  • Evaluate
  • Categorize
  • Link

He postulated that the format of the item no longer matters, it is about providing connections between resource and curriculum and resources inside and outside the library.  The catalogue which was once designed for inventory control has morphed into a search engine.

Alan posed questions about the evolution in libraries and catalogues in the age of electronic resources, searchable full text and mega-aggregate sites.  He touched upon discovery products such as EBSCO, WorldCat Local and the State Library of Victoria’s Primo Central. A useful observation was that while school students need authoritative information as soon as possible, they tend not to require a specific title or edition of a work.

His advice was that SCIS needs to provide connections between resources and curriculum and external indexes and search platforms.  He recommends SCIS

  • continue to provide quality metadata
  • increase the connecting of resources with curriculum
  • work on linking controlled vocabularies
  • highlight diversity of resources and formats and
  • explore ways to rate materials

Education Services records its thanks to Alan for his clear thinking and recommendations.

 

 

SCIS asks – Resource Description and Access (RDA)

As part of the SCIS consultation on 4 December 2012 Renate Beilharz from Box Hill Institute provided an introduction to Resource Description and Access (RDA)  and its benefits for education libraries.

The Statement of purpose for RDA states:

Renate talks about RDA
Renate talks about RDA

RDA will be a new standard for resource description and access, designed for the digital world.
Built on foundations established by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR), RDA will provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media.
RDA will enable users of library catalogues and other systems of information organization to find, identify, select, and obtain resources appropriate to their information needs.

During the period of RDA development, the library and cataloguing world updated some key cataloguing principles and developed some conceptual models for resource discovery. RDA is built on these new conceptual models.

If we remember that the highest principle of the International Cataloguing Principles is the ‘convenience of the user’ RDA has aligned with the ICP principles: find, identify, select, obtain.  Through  RDA we can practise what we preach and work to improve search results and the way these results are displayed. RDA is very much about the user and functionality; focused on users – not items.

The RDA cataloguing standard is designed precisely for an online environment. RDA’s element set has been clearly defined, and incorporated into the Open Metadata Registry, which is a set of RDF-based controlled vocabularies, and a fundamental piece of technical infrastructure for the Semantic Web.

Renate’s overview led into a presentation by SCIS Cataloguing Team Leader, Pam Kadow, outlining proposed changes to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry for alignment with RDA commencing the second quarter of 2013.

New in SCIS series

Below is an important message about a change to the SCIS Cataloguing Standards which was sent to school library management system vendors on 31 March 2011.
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Thangmar Göttingen, SUB Library, Lesesaal, old bibliographies, Public domain
Gottingen, Old bibliographies by Thangmar 2005, PD

The MARC 440 field (Series statement/Added entry – Title) was made obsolete in the international standard in 2008.

In 2009 SCIS announced its intention to stop using 440 and use both the 490 and 830 tags as prescribed in the standard. Tag 490 is part of the description of the resource, and contains the series statement as it appears on the item; tag 830 is the series access point or added entry. In some cases the data in the two fields may be identical. SCIS does not use fields 800, 810 and 811 as it prefers to provide series access by title rather than name/title.

For new records, SCIS is now using 490 and 830 as required. Records created prior to the changeover retain the series added entry in the 440 field. Your local system should provide for searching and displaying both 440 and 830 as series titles. Both 490 and 830 are repeatable, ie there may be more than one 490 or 830 in a single record.

You can find some examples of 490 and 830 fields in the updated MARC coding section of the SCIS standards.

For full details see the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.

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Library system vendors have indicated that they either already support this standard, or are planning to implement it and that school libraries should experience minimal change as a result of this update. Please contact your support person if you have further questions about how this works in your system.

A more in-depth article on the series cataloguing standards change will be available in Connections Issue 77 arriving in schools in Term 2 2011.