It’s now time to take stock

Written by Julie Styles, Cataloguing Librarian, SCIS

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is an excellent time to consider stocktaking your library collection. You may want to stocktake the whole collection at once or do the fiction this year and the non-fiction next year. It all depends on how much time you have available and how much labour you have at your disposal.

Advantages of stocktaking

In handling each resource, you learn a lot about what you have and have not in your collection.

It may be time to ‘weed’ out outdated or little-used material. The ever-changing subject areas of computer science, science and geography are always a good place to start.

Books in a poor state of repair may need to be repaired or replaced.

You are likely to find at least a few books that have been incorrectly shelved and missing for a long time.

Gaps in subject areas will be discovered. You may have nothing or very little on 3D printing. You may alternatively decide you have quite enough on ancient civilisations.

Due to popularity, you may decide to buy additional copies of some titles.

Best of all, your collection will be all organised and ready to start the next school year.

Colourful books stacked tightly
Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

How to go about doing a library stocktake

As always, we recommend that you speak to your library management software vendor for specific instructions on how to complete a stocktake.

Stocktaking and SCIS records

The SCIS catalogue, like every other library catalogue, is continually evolving. It reflects changing international standards in cataloguing and internal policy decisions. Many of these internal changes come as a result of your feedback and often enhance the usability of the catalogue. Usually, we implement changes from a certain date and do not worry about previous records. However, in some circumstances, it is considered necessary to change older records also. When this is the situation, in many cases, we can make ‘blanket’ or ‘global’ changes to our older records. As this is a big job, we usually concentrate our efforts on records created in the last ten years.

Changes that impact SCIS records

In 2015 we stopped treating stories with rhyming text as poetry, changing the Dewey number from the number for poetry to F for fiction. And the subject headings for all these titles now had Fiction as a subdivision instead of Poetry. The SCIS genre heading Stories in rhyme and the SCOT Verse stories was also added to the record. Global changes were made to records made in and after 2012.

Before 2018 series titles were recorded as presented on the item, resulting in inconsistencies across records. Selecting consistent and authorised series authorities, and updating records has been a significant project and work continues to ensure that older records are linked with the correct series term.

From January 2018, we started adding diacritical marks to name and series authorities. This particularly made a difference to names and titles in the Māori language. We continue to update older records that do reflect these new authorities.

Series sequential numbering terms such as Bk., Book, No., Number, Pt, Part, Vol., Volume and Issue are no longer included in the series statement. RDA cataloguing rules require cataloguers to enter the information exactly as it appears on the book. But as the sequential terms used often vary amongst publishers, this can cause inconsistencies in series filing. It was for this reason that SCIS revised its cataloguing standards in May 2018 to record the series number and the sequential term. Older records are now being stripped of these terms.

In addition to these major bulk changes, we occasionally pick up spelling errors, Dewey number errors, and cataloguing errors in individual records which we correct immediately.

Conclusion

At SCIS, we have worked hard to make changes to records to improve the functionality of your library catalogue. However, if you still have many of the old records, your library users will not be gaining the full benefit of all these improvements.

Libraries that wish to update their SCIS records to pick up enhancements may decide to re-download the record for each of the titles handled during a stocktake. Yes, it will add to the process, but it is certainly not something you will have to do every year. However, I emphasise, if you want to do a big ‘clean up’ overwriting existing records with SCIS records, you need to confirm with your library management software vendor first to make sure you are doing it correctly. We do not want you to end up with duplicate records or deleted records inadvertently.

Please feel free to share your stocktaking experiences.

Happy stocktaking!

New and revised SCIS Subject Headings

The purpose of SCIS Subject Headings is to provide a controlled language approach suitable for subject access to the library catalogue for primary and secondary school students. This list is used by SCIS cataloguers when selecting or devising appropriate subject headings for educational and curriculum resources catalogued onto the SCIS database. The list can be used by schools that subscribe to SCIS to assist their library staff in conforming to SCIS standards when adding subject headings to local resources.

The following changes have recently been made to SCIS Subject Headings in SCIS Data.

New SCIS subject headings

  • Fake news

Use for works on and about disinformation in print and online media that are deliberately written to attract and mislead readers by exploiting entrenched biases.

Changed subject headings

  • Aboriginal peoples – Dreaming
  • Characters and characteristics
  • Characters and characteristics in films
  • Characters and characteristics in literature
  • Creation
  • Literature – 20th century
  • Literature, Medieval
  • Literature, Modern 

Changed non-allowed terms:

  • Fictional characters
  • Fictitious characters
  • Adaptation, Literary
  • Literature, Modern – 20th century

The full reference structure for each of these headings can be found in https://my.scisdata.com/standards.

New and revised SCIS Subject Headings

The purpose of SCIS Subject Headings is to provide a controlled language approach suitable for subject access to the library catalogue for primary and secondary school students. This list is used by SCIS cataloguers when selecting or devising appropriate subject headings for educational and curriculum resources catalogued onto the SCIS database. The list can be used by schools that subscribe to SCIS to assist their library staff in conforming to SCIS standards when adding subject headings to local resources.

Below is an overview of the new and revised subject headings approved by the SCIS Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) from 1st January – 1st July in 2019. The changes have been made to SCIS Subject Headings in SCIS Data https://my.scisdata.com/standards

New subject headings

Anxiety disorders

Use for works on medical conditions characterised by persistent, excessive worry.

Streaming technology

Use for works about transferring data (such as audio or video material) in a continuous stream, including use in education.

Recessions

Use for works on a significant decline or slowdown in economic activity that goes on for more than a few months. For works on a severe decline in economic activity that lasts for many years, see Depressions, Economic. For works on situations where the value of assets drop off rapidly, causing a collapse in the economy, see Financial crises.

Financial crises

See also names of specific financial crises*, e.g. Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009.

Use for works on situations where the value of assets drop off rapidly, causing a collapse in the economy. For works on a significant decline or slowdown in economic activity that goes on for more than a few months, see Recessions. For works on a severe decline in economic activity that lasts for many years, see Depressions, Economic.

Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009

Children–Mental health

Surveillance

Kolkata (India)

Removed subject heading Calcutta (India)

Revised subject headings

  • Anglican church
  • Church
  • Churches
  • Cults
  • Methodist church
  • Protestant churches
  • Sects
  • European Union
  • Child psychiatry
  • Depressions, Economic

The dreaded case of duplicate ISBNs

A few weeks ago, the SCIS team were at a ‘Making the most of SCIS’ workshop and our conversation turned, as it often does, to ISBNs. If you love discussing ISBNs as much as we do, here – republished in full – is one of our most popular blog posts. Enjoy!

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The dreaded case of duplicate ISBNs

Doreen Sullivan
SCIS Cataloguing team leader

Have you ever had this experience? You search for or download the record for an ISBN and a completely different title is returned. Huh? How could SCIS have gotten it so wrong?

In most cases, this is not a mistake. The fact is, sometimes publishers print the same ISBN on more than one of their publications. Although ISBNs are meant to be unique to each title edition, it is surprisingly common for publishers to give the same ISBN to different books.

These are known as ‘duplicate ISBNs’ or ‘ISBN duplicates’, and they are frustrating for all concerned. It means that the same ISBN could show in two or more SCIS records.

When a SCIS cataloguer creates a record with a known duplicate ISBN, they will include a note like this: ‘Duplicate ISBN. Linked to SCIS record no. 911499’. But if you’re simply downloading a record, chances are you won’t see the note field.

You can set your profile to ‘Prompt me to choose from a list’ when ISBN duplicates appear. If you have this setting enabled and we’ve catalogued both items — the same ISBN but two different titles — the SCIS system will inform you of the duplication when you go to download the record directly from SCIS. Then you can select the title you need.

If you need more information to make your choice, we recommend performing an ISBN search on the SCIS catalogue, which will provide the SCIS number for each record. You can then download the record using the relevant SCIS number.

And if SCIS hasn’t catalogued two records — you can only see one title and it’s not the one you want — please contact us at help@scisdata.com so we can look into the issue for you.

First published September 28, 2017

To change your ISBN duplicate settings in your SCIS profile, please follow the prompts in the article, My Quick Scan result does not match the item ordered.

For more information on downloading SCIS records, please see our brief video, Downloading records in SCIS.

Diacritics in SCIS records

2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. It is therefore timely that SCIS records can now include diacritics, ensuring that resources in indigenous languages such as the Māori language (te reo Māori) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ languages are recorded accurately in SCIS Data.

Continue reading Diacritics in SCIS records

Is there life beyond MARC?

SCIS forges into a new frontier

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.

Continue reading Is there life beyond MARC?

The dreaded case of duplicate ISBNs

Doreen Sullivan
SCIS Cataloguing team leader

Have you ever had this experience? You search for or download the record for an ISBN and a completely different title is returned. Huh? How could SCIS have gotten it so wrong?

In most cases, this is not a mistake. The fact is, sometimes publishers print the same ISBN on more than one of their publications. Although ISBNs are meant to be unique to each title edition, it is surprisingly common for publishers to give the same ISBN to different books.

These are known as ‘duplicate ISBNs’ or ‘ISBN duplicates’, and they are frustrating for all concerned. It means that the same ISBN could show in two or more SCIS records.

Continue reading The dreaded case of duplicate ISBNs

$20 voucher for ELR participants

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!75. ELR image 1This 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.