SCIS short course: Managing your library collection and catalogue.

Hello all and welcome to the SCIS Blog for 2020! We wanted to start the year with something a little different. The amazing SCIS team have created a free short course for new school library staff (and for those that would like a refresher). Focusing on collection curation and cataloguing, we will help you get started in organising the resource offerings of your library.

Each week for the next seven weeks, we will create a blog post that contains a lesson in managing your library collection and catalogue. To receive the email simply subscribe to the SCIS Blog.

In the meantime, here is a rundown of what to expect throughout this course.

Lesson 1: Help! I’ve taken over a library. What do I do now?

We’ll start slow, and take you through the basics of a library: what it is, and what it can be. Ideal for those of you who have just stepped into the role of librarian. But this is also a nice refresher, and a chance for those of you who have been working in a library for some time, to take a step back from your current practices and think about the basics.

Lesson 2: Managing your collection – what does your library collect?

Now we start to get into the juicy stuff! This lesson looks at the library collection policy and why it is so important. We cover sourcing and acquisition — building up your library collection — along with the necessary evils, otherwise known as weeding and stocktake.

Lesson 3: Introduction to cataloguing – unleash your library collection

This lesson dives right into the heart of cataloguing. We discuss why we need to follow cataloguing standards, what standards you’ll need to be aware of, and how to make standards work for your library.

Lesson 4: Descriptive cataloguing – describing your collection and finding resource information

We’ll start looking at the ways you can describe your library collection, and where you can find information on a particular item. We also look at how most people perform searches, and the important fields to consider when cataloguing.

Lesson 5: Subject cataloguing and authority files – why it is important to keep control

This lesson uncovers the benefits of controlled vocabularies. We also delve into authorities and authority files: what they are, and how they can make your collection more discoverable to staff and students.

Lesson 6: Organising your collection –classification, Dewey and call numbers

Here is where you can start to make your library work for you and your school. We discuss the importance of classification, describe the difference between full and abridged Dewey, and provide an overview of call numbers and genre classification.

Lesson 7: The value of your library collection – now that I’ve set up my library, what’s next?

Our final lesson ties everything together. We’ll look at how to evaluate and advocate your library, suggest activities for engagement and networking, and touch on creating efficiencies. In a nutshell, we discuss how you can make the most of your time to serve the needs of your school.

We are so pleased to take you on this journey!

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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.

38 thoughts on “SCIS short course: Managing your library collection and catalogue.”

  1. Hi Deborah. No cost and no need to register. Just stay tuned every Monday for a new post! And once we have posted all seven lessons we will create a final post that you can share with your colleagues.

  2. Added to my calendar to check here every Monday for the next 7 weeks 🙂
    Looking forward to it!

  3. Wow! This sounds great. I’m in, but the first question after “Help! I’ve taken over a library. What do I do now?” “HOW DO I FIND THE TIME TO DO THAT AS WELL??”

    Hopefully I’ll get an answer when I join the lesson 🙂

  4. I have just joined Roma Mitchel Secondary College and very keen to learn the library system

  5. Hi Justine, thank you for your interest! To receive the weekly email course, please sign up to the SCIS Blog by clicking on the “Subscribe” button. We won’t be cross-posting on the listserve at this stage.

  6. I think it is a fantastic refresher for those who have worked in libraries for a while also.

  7. Great idea. Maybe e could build a SCIS professional lerning network where more experienced T-Ls and SCIS staff cn support the newer members.

  8. Hi, I already receive emails from SCIS, so do I need to subscribe to the blogs? Thanks Erika

  9. Hi Erika, thanks for your query. Yes, you do need to subscribe to the SCIS blog to receive this online course. We hope you enjoy it!

  10. Thank you for offering this course. One can always learn something new no mater how long you have been in the job.

  11. Great idea😊 Are you inviting along librarians to chat about their experiences ?- I am sure you would find some amazing stories about what they did well and what was a disaster in their careers😉 I am a mentor online to new librarians all over the world. After being in libraries for 30 years and building one from scratch as well as building up new collections and revamping old ones I love to share!😀Kathy Hopson MIT LIS

  12. Hi Kathryn, We would love librarians to share their feedback! And as a related aside, if you have ideas that you’d like to write about, we are always looking for guest blog posts or Connections articles. Please email Carmen at Library land is all about sharing. 🙂

  13. Hi. This is a helpful guide for me since I am a new librarian with no previous experience of the field.

  14. Hi Pauline,
    Absolutely! Simply hit the “Subscribe” button on this blog page, and the weekly lessons will automatically land in your inbox. Thank you for your interest in the SCIS blog.

  15. I am also grateful for this course. Although I have subscribed I have not been receiving the weekly blog however googling it today there were the lessons so great. I will more time to read them in the holidays than right now. I have subscribed again today. Sadly when I put this opportunity as evidence of learning in my PDP it was rejected as I was told ‘ all TLS should know all tis as part of their jobs.’ I wish my Head teacher could see the repsonses here where so many of us are very grateful to learn whether by a refresher or otherwise. Anyway as TIPD I think it is great.

    Thank you from Debra

  16. Whoops should always edit before posting- so comma after lessons,
    ‘have’ after I will and ‘this’ instead of tis. Sigh. Debra

  17. Thanks, Debra, we really appreciate your feedback. We also learnt alot when putting the course together – it is always good to refresh our knowledge!

  18. Are we able to print these pages to make into a booklet without the “Subscribe by email” overprint? Just thought it would be handy to keep on the workroom shelf.

  19. Hello, just started this refresher course. Was wondering if we get a Statement of Completion or some such certificate? My work place likes to have a hardcopy of any courses etc that we do for our records. Regards,

  20. Many thanks for this wonderfully informative refresher. I have been a Librarian for 12 years but I can tell you it was wonderful to go back to basics and remember the little things and to reinvigorate the ideas that somehow I had let slide a bit. Each lesson was concise and to the point. Really enjoyed the course. Again, appreciate this and thank you.

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