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.
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.
While our cataloguers include terms from both vocabularies, you have the option to select a preferred subject heading format.
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.
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.
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 (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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Our World : Bardi Jaawi : Life at Ardiyooloon by One Arm Point Remote Community School (SCIS no 1484264) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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.
True Blue? : On Being Australian edited by Peter Goldsworthy (SCIS no 1347615) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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) http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=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.
Australia Day, January 26, is considered to be a commemoration of nationhood by many Australians. For other Australians, however, it marks a deep loss – of sovereignty, family and culture. Here are some titles from the SCIS catalogue which look at the clash between European settlers and the Aboriginal peoples:
1788 to 1809 : from First Fleet to Rum Rebellion by Victoria MacLeay ; [edited by Lynn Brodie].(SCIS No. 1552979). The first 22 years of the colonisation of Australia began with the arrival of the First Fleet and ended with the aftermath of the only military insurrection Australia has ever experienced. This book covers the major events: the arrival at Botany Bay, the settlement at Sydney Cove, the battle to survive, heroic explorations, and tensions between the new arrivals and indigenous peoples. ISBN 9780864271136
A commonwealth of thieves: the improbable birth of Australia by Thomas Keneally. (SCIS No. 1627531)
The history of the first four years of the convict settlement of Australia. Using personal journals and documents, Keneally re-creates the overseas voyage and the challenges Governor Arthur Phillips faced upon arrival: unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, bewildered and hostile natives, food shortages and disease. He also offers portrayals of Aborigines and convict settler. ISBN 9781400079568
That deadman dance by Kim Scott.(SCIS No. 1595239)
Told through the eyes of black and white, this is a story about a fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s, known as the “friendly frontier”. It shows that the first contact did not have to lead to war. ISBN 9781408829288
Rethinking settler colonialism : history and memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa edited by Annie E. Coombes (SCIS No. 1638689)
Focuses on the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the white colonial communities who settled in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. Looks at how histories of colonial settlement have been mythologised, narrated, and embodied in these countries in the twentieth century. ISBN 9780719071690
A failure to understand: early colonialism and the indigenous peoples by Margaret McPhee. (SCIS No. 1659262). A look at the monumental clash between European colonalism and the Aboriginal peoples; from the first tentative and difficult interactions of the early explorers to the arrival of the First Fleet. ISBN 9781742455136
The Australian frontier wars 1788-1838 by John Connor (SCIS No 1112716). From the Swan River to the Hawkesbury, and from the sticky Arnhem Land mangrove to the soft green hills of Tasmania, this book describes the major conflicts fought on the Australian frontier to 1838. ISBN 0868407569
The other side of the frontier: Aboriginal resistance to the European invasion of Australia by Henry Reynolds (SCIS No. 1311253). The publication of this book in 1981 profoundly changed the way in which we understand the history of relations between indigenous Australians and European settlers. ISBN 0868408921
Forgotten war by Henry Reynolds (SCIS No. 1623535). Australia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas, but there are no official commemorations of the battles fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists. ISBN 9781742233925
The Black War : fear, sex and resistance in Tasmania by Nicholas Clements (SCIS No. 1659002)
Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines died violently in Tasmania’s Black War. It was by far the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history, yet many Australians know little about it. ISBN 9780702250064
All images and summaries provided by SCIS Syndetics
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.
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:
In the ‘Search’ box type in the genre heading, for example ‘school stories.’
Select ‘as a phrase’ from the drop down menu.
Select ‘subject’ from the second drop down menu.
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:
In the 21st century school libraries need to consider their spaces, the role of the teacher librarian, and the move to digital content and access in the age of BYOD (Bring your own device). In Australian schools, demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential as they look at resourcing the Australian Curriculum.
‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones is an excellent infographic to highlight the multifaceted role of teacher librarians. Evaluating resources is an important focus for teacher librarians, as is digital citizenship, and educating students about plagiarism. Increasingly, teacher librarians are working with classroom teachers to develop their students’ capacity to identify and ask good questions, and to improve study and research skills.
Modern school library design may look more to the contemporary approach of buildings such as Trinity Grammar’s Tudor Centre, which brings together library, curriculum, and technology staff.
In the age of BYOD students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobook and digital video library. Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is featuring increasingly. While we may be seeing a drop in the use of our non-fiction print collections this may not be a matter of student preference. Content and relevancy are important regardless of format.
In most schools the school library catalogue is the only place where users can search for school-owned/licensed resources all in one place. School library catalogues provide access to learning resources for the school community. While students and teachers can use a search engine to find millions of online resources, this search will return everything online EXCEPT the very resources that the school or system has actually selected and paid for.
The student or staff member seeking books, information, and learning resources expects to do one search and for that search to return all the relevant material available to them, regardless of its format or its location. Single point of search assumes an integrated set of search results, which requires integrated metadata.
21st century, next generation library systems will need to include digital rights management, a seamless secure single sign-on, and federated searching across a variety of resources, databases and collections. Next generation systems will need the ability to connect with a variety of devices and, increasingly, to provide a personalised service similar to the Amazon or Google experience.
This is why making digital content discoverable through school library catalogues is essential.
For a long time a priority for library staff has been to organise the physical library space in ways that are attractive and encourage users to visit and explore, as well as making it easy for them to find what they need, and assist browsing for inspiration. We work to make location and lending of resources as seamless and self-servicing as possible. We now have additional responsibilities. As well as serving our users who are visitors, browsers and borrowers of physical items in a physical library space, we now need to serve our library users accessing and downloading resources in virtual spaces.
‘We remember ANZAC’ resource kits were sent to all schools in Australia this week.
They have been produced by the Department of Veteran Affairs in preparation for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
The kits themselves do not have ISBN’s but can be downloaded using their SCIS record numbers or by title.
Primary resource 1689387
Secondary resource 1689388
There are three books over the two kits that do have ISBN’s. Bibliographic records have been created for them in case schools wish to split up the kit.
SCIS catalogue records contain SCIS’s authorized name and subject headings. However, on their own, records will not display the See and See Also references that provide the optimal search experience for your students and staff. SCIS Authority Files provide these references, as well as providing all authorized forms of names and subjects used as access points in SCIS catalogue records. Installing them will enable your library management system to automatically create cross references, which will be visible in your library catalogue.
Schools can subscribe to SCIS Authority Files for only $90 per year, which includes both Name and Subject authorities. SCIS release a new version of the Authority Files twice a year, usually in March and August.
In this post we describe the benefits of installing SCIS Authority Files and provide advice on selecting and installing them, using two systems to demonstrate: Access-It and Softlink’s Oliver. You can find more information about SCIS Authority Files on the authority files help page. You can also watch our new Authority Files video…
SCIS Name Authorities specify the authorized name of authors, illustrators, and other creators, be they corporate (eg “Primary English Teaching Association (Australia)”) or individual. This includes See references for non-authorized names. For example, if SCIS Name Authorities are installed and one of your staff search for “PETAA”, they will be directed to all works by “Primary English Teaching Association (Australia)”. Without Name Authorities, they may get no results.
Not all systems support name authorities, so check with your vendor before installing them.
SCIS Subject Authorities
If a user searches on the term “Hurricanes” without a See reference to direct them to the authorized SCIS subject heading, “Cyclones”, they may believe that the library does not contain any resources about hurricanes. See Also references exist between related terms and are important for assisting the user to find resources on similar subjects, such as directing users from “Cyclones” to the related topic “Tornadoes”.
SCIS Subject Authority files include authorized names as subjects. That is, whilst SCIS Name Authorities specify the name “Carroll, Lewis” as an author of a work, SCIS Subject Authorities specify “Carroll, Lewis” as a subject for when a work is about Lewis Carroll.
Selecting Authority Files – Full versus Reference Only
On the SCIS Authority Files page, schools need to choose which files they require: the SCIS Full Authority Files or the SCIS Reference Only Authority Files.
The Full Authority files contain all authorised SCIS headings, including those without See and See Also references, such as “Science fiction films – History and criticism”. This may be useful for local cataloguing of resources not catalogued by SCIS, such as vertical file materials. Use the full list of authorised headings in your library system to ensure consistency with headings used in SCIS records.
If most of your catalogue records are sourced from SCIS and you do little or no original cataloguing, you may decide you only need the significantly smaller SCIS Reference Only Authority Files. These contain only those headings that have See and/or See Also references. We recommend that all schools install at least the Reference Only Subject Authority Files.
Downloading SCIS Authority Files
Twice a year, when SCIS release new versions of the Authority Files, go to the SCIS Authority Files page, select the correct files for you, and download them.
The next step is to import them into your library management system. Read your system’s manual carefully for the settings to choose when importing the SCIS subject authority files.
Imports should be regarded as an overnight housekeeping task as the download may take several hours.
In current generation systems, many of the steps will be similar.
In Oliver, go to Management > Import and select the MARC radio button. It is crucial to select “MARC-21 Authority” in the “MARC format” field is crucial.
In Access-It, click Cataloguing > Imports > Import MARC Authorities.
Your system may require you to make some or all of the following decisions:
Choose how to deal with existing, duplicate authority records: Unless you want to retain any Subject Authorities you have created, it is important to replace the existing subject authorities with the new SCIS authorities. In Oliver, select “Replace existing resources”.
Specify which authorities you are loading: In Oliver it is important to select “Load subjects” otherwise the subject authorities won’t be loaded. If you are importing Name Authorities, do not select “Load Authors into Subject Authority File” because SCIS Subject Authority files already contain author names as subjects.
Specify file encoding: MARC authorities will be encoded in UTF-8. Select this in Oliver, and leave Access-It as “auto-detect”.