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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever wondered why some SCIS records contain two similar or identical subject headings? SCIS cataloguers use two controlled vocabularies: the SCIS Subject Heading List (SCISSHL) and the Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT). You’ll notice that the codes ‘scisshl’ or ‘scot’ appear in parentheses after each heading, representing which vocabulary the heading came from. Subscribers who access records through SCISWeb have the option to have headings from both vocabularies in their downloaded records, or just their preferred one.
These two controlled vocabularies serve complementary functions. Simply put, ScOT terms are informed by curriculum language and structure, whereas the SCISSHL is informed by topics in the literature itself: its headings reflect the content of the SCIS database.
The benefit of using both is that if one person – likely, in this case, to be a teacher or school library professional – enters search terms inspired by the curriculum, and another person – such as a student – searches with no consideration of the curriculum, both will find relevant resources. Oftentimes there is an overlap between SCISSHL and ScOT terms that can describe resources (see image to the left); to maintain consistency, both terms are always used.
Once you’ve logged into SCISWeb, you can select ‘My Profile’ from the navigation bar, select ‘Advanced options’, and then choose your preferred subject heading format (you can press the ‘Help me choose which format’ if further clarification is needed), and then press ‘SAVE’.
Please note that the instructions above only change your settings on SCISWeb, and will not affect the format of records imported directly into your library management system through Z39.50 (otherwise known as rapid cataloguing or z-cataloguing).
When using z39.50 to import records directly into your system, some library systems allow you to choose between SCISSHL or ScOT terms. Others extract the ScOT headings and put them in special fields, treating them as keywords rather than specialised subject headings. Still others import both sets of headings and do not give you a choice in the matter. If the source of the heading is not displayed (‘scisshl’ or ‘scot’) it may appear that you have duplicate headings in your record, whereas one heading is from ScOT and the other from SCISSHL.
If you would like to know more about the differences between the two, see ‘ScOT in SCIS – more of the same … or different?’ and ‘The relationship between SCIS Subject Headings and ScOT’.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day (Tuesday 9 February) is an annual, international day promoting safe and responsible use of the internet, particularly aimed at children and young adults.
As students are well and truly immersed in the digital age, it is important for them to be able to navigate the vast landscape of the online environment, and use the internet in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others. The internet is filled with endless opportunities for learning, discovery and social interaction; Safer Internet Day reminds us that it also needs to be approached with a sense of responsibility and with some degree of caution.
Digital citizenship can be found in the Australian Curriculum in the Digital Technologies learning area, as well as across multiple general capabilities, including Information and Communication Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, and Ethical Understanding.
Below is a list of websites (and one book) that can be used to encourage safer internet use and ensure students wear their digital citizenship badges responsibly:
Cybersmart detectives by the Australian Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (SCIS no 1749917)
Cybersmart Detectives is an interactive website suitable for Year 4 students. It offers a half-hour class activity that asks students to take on the role of the Cybersmart Detective, where they must find clues and answer questions, demonstrating that certain actions made in the online environment can have negative repercussions.
Digital citizenship in schools: nine elements all students should know by Mike Ribble (SCIS no 1739384)
Produced by the International Society for Technology in Education, this book examines issues concerning information literacy, digital citizenship, and social aspects, and safety measures of using the internet. The book discusses how both teachers and students can become informed, responsible internet users.
CyberSense and nonsense : the second adventure of the three CyberPigs by the Media Awareness Network (SCIS no 1746691)
CyberSense and Nonsense teaches young people about netiquette, as well as the information and critical literacy skills necessary to distinguish fact and opinion, including those that contain bias and harmful stereotypes. The website also offers information about encouraging ethical online behaviour, how to be an effective searcher, as well as teaching guides for parents and teachers.
eSmart Digital licence by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation (SCIS no 1722072)
The eSmart Digital Licence is a website developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation suitable for children aged 10+. It uses an interactive quiz that includes videos and games with eight learning modules to evaluate students’ understanding of digital safety, and teaches the skills required to learn, socialise and play online in a safe and responsible manner.
Posti network by Arts Centre Melbourne (SCIS no 1566388)
Developed by the Arts Centre Melbourne, with the support of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, this website aims to help upper-primary school students understand the implications of occupying digital spaces, especially in regards to social media use. It is also designed to teach young users about their roles and responsibilities as ‘digital citizens’.
You can also check out Kay Oddone’s article in the latest issue of Connections, ‘Information and critical literacy on the web’, which is an abridged version of a series of blog posts she has written about information and critical literacy in online spaces. Her original blog series can be found here.
Do you use any other resources to teach students to become responsible digital citizens? Let us know in the comment section below, or send us a tweet at @schoolscatinfo.
Happy and safe internetting!
With Australia Day just around the corner, we have compiled a list of Australiana resources including non-fiction, fiction and picture books, as well as other useful teaching resources such as interactive websites and DVDs.
Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, but it also presents us with the opportunity to reflect on our history, culture and people. This year, to commemorate Australia Day, we have included a variety of resources that look at these aspects of our country. It provides a small snippet from a wide array of resources that are available to be shared with students for Australia Day. For more resources, use the SCIS catalogue to browse by subject, using subject headings such as ‘Australia Day’, ‘Australian history’, ‘Australiana’, or ‘Australian stories’.
You can also check out our Australia Day blog post from last year for a list of resources that look at the clash between European settlers and the Aboriginal peoples.
What’s Australia Day All About? [Online video] (SCIS no 1748373)
A short video suitable for primary school students, What’s Australia Day All About looks at how people commemorate the national holiday, and different perspectives that are held about the day. The video encourages interaction and reflection by concluding with a trivia question.
Aussie Clue Cracker [Website] (SCIS no 1748506)
Aussie Clue Cracker is an interactive online game encouraging students to learn more about unique Australian icons, symbols and events. Users are shown 12 images that contribute to our national culture, and are given 11 clues to guess the correct answer.
Australia Day : History [Website] (SCIS no 1748485)
This informative website developed by the Australia Day Council looks at the history of the national holiday, and how and why it has been both celebrated and challenged.
Our World : Bardi Jaawi : Life at Ardiyooloon by One Arm Point Remote Community School (SCIS no 1484264)
This vibrantly illustrated picture book, written by students of One Arm Point Remote Community School, is a great resource that invites the reader into their community, sharing the culture and traditions of the Bardi Jaawi people.
A Concise History of Australia by Stuart Macintyre (SCIS no 1741554)
This book provides a concise, accessible overview of Australian history from our early history to today, including our social, political and economic history.
True Blue? : On Being Australian edited by Peter Goldsworthy (SCIS no 1347615)
Suitable for senior school students, True Blue? exposes students to a range of perspectives on Australian identity, and will encourage readers to reflect on what it means to be Australian – or if there is a concrete definition at all.
Australians All : A History of Growing up, From the Ice Age to the Apology by Nadia Wheatley, illustrations by Ken Searle (SCIS no 1731022)
Nadia Wheatley interweaves over 70 real-life stories into the book, mixing her own narrative with biographies and first-hand accounts from various Australians in time, including well-known individuals such as Eddie Mabo.
Samson and Delilah [DVD] by Warwick Thornton (SCIS no 1475514)
Directed by Indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton, Samson and Delilah looks at the lives of two teenagers growing up in a remote community in central Australia, and the struggles as they leave their community and head to Alice Springs.
Australian Backyard Explorer by Peter Macinnis (SCIS no 1420539)
Australian Backyard Explorer, winner of the 2010 Children’s Book Council of Australia Children’s Book of the Year Award, tells the remarkable stories of individuals who explored the vast Australian landscape in the first 120 years of European settlement.
Australian Story : An Illustrated Timeline by Tania McCartney (SCIS no 1547510)
Australian Story places key moments in Australian history on a timeline, from the formation of our country and its flora and fauna to modern life in Australia. Filled with illustrations and images taken from the National Library of Australia’s digital collection, this is a striking visual account of Australian history.
The Unlikely Story of Bennelong and Phillip by Michael Sedunary (SCIS no 1698767)
This book tells the story of the friendship between Captain Arthur Phillip who led the First Fleet, and Bennelong, an Aboriginal man, despite coming from two very different worlds.
Why I Love Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft (SCIS no 1712314)
Bronwyn Bancroft visually celebrates the vast and diverse Australian landscape – both natural and man-made, expressing her deep feelings for the country.
Let us know your favourite books and resources to share with students for Australia Day – or books you love to read yourself.
Image: James Cridland (CC BY 2.0)