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It may be time to ‘weed’ out outdated or little-used material.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 to 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 this can cause inconsistencies in series filing as the sequential terms used often vary amongst publishers. It was for this reason that SCIS revised its cataloguing standards in May 2018 to record the series number without 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.

Finally, if you prefer to take on a smaller project, we have recently deleted nearly two thousand records for websites that no longer exist and updated nearly 800 URL’s on records that have been re-directed. It may be time to review your website records against the records we have or no longer have on our database.

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

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?

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.

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.

Access to digital content

Recent SCIS workshops and presentations have focused on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of digital content. As a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries SCIS is committed to helping schools deal with collection management issues, and provides catalogue records for e-books, websites, apps, audio books, learning objects and digital video.

SCIS RDA implementation 1 July 2013

SCIS, along with the library world globally, is implementing the new Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloguing standards – the first major change to take place since the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, second edition (AACR2) were released in 1978.

SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry 2013 edition

The standards that govern SCIS cataloguing have been rewritten and the new 2013 edition has now been published. This extensive document available as a PDF download from the SCIS Help page, is written for SCIS cataloguing staff and runs to 209 pages. The sections most affected by RDA include:
Section 2: Descriptive cataloguing
Section 5: Standards for specific formats, and
Section 6: MARC coding: Bibliographic records

Cake toasting the launch of RDA and RDA Toolkit
Celebrating the launch of RDA at ALA10
CC-by-nc-sa

SCIS cataloguers will commence using these standards on 1 July 2013.
SCIS major decisions

SCIS has consulted with library system providers in Australian and New Zealand school libraries and has decided to move slowly towards full RDA implementation. From 1 July 2013 – 1 July 2014 SCIS will produce hybrid RDA records which continue to use the GMD from AACR2, and which will also retain the 260 Publication field rather than the new 264 field: Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice, used by most systems using RDA.

RDA test records

The following records have been added to SCIS so library system providers and SCIS subscribers can test any impact of the change in standards on their systems.

Please note that ISBNs have been removed from these records so they are not accidentally retrieved through SCISWeb or Z39.50. Normal SCIS records will continue to include the ISBN where available.

Title Type of resource Hybrid RDA test
Pure RDA test
Chasing the light : a novel of Antarctica book, fiction 1614792 1614815
Saint Paul’s letters to the Corinthians in the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate book, nonfiction 1614767 1585707
Eraserhead video recording, DVD 1614751 1588961
Desire musical sound recording, CD 1614750 1588970
The call of the wild audiobook, online 1614737 1607780
100 healthy desserts e-book, online 1614769 1581096
Home of the Australian Women Writers Challenge website 1614785 1614812

Background on RDA

For a review of what RDA is, and why it is being implemented revisit this compilation of previous Connections articles and blog posts.

In Connections 83 (October 2012) we published an article by Renate Beilharz from Box Hill Institute entitled: Why new rules, and what’s it got to do with me?
Issue 84 explained How SCIS will implement RDA, and Issue 85 provided more detail on how RDA deals with media types.

As part of the SCIS consultation on 4 December 2012 Renate also provided an introduction to RDA and its benefits for education libraries.

More information about RDA is available on the website of the Australian Committee on Cataloging.

http://www.slideshare.net/scis/rda-in-scis

SCIS Catalogue features

Have you checked out the new SCIS Catalogue launched last week?
As well as a fresh look, there are a number of features that will be appreciated by SCIS users.

Search filters

The search limits available in previous versions of SCIS OPAC are still available (year, place, type, format and language), but search limits have been supplemented in this version of the Catalogue by the ability to filter the results following your initial search. These filters are found in the right hand column of the search results page.

SCIS Catalogue filter options
Search filters

Log in to the SCIS Catalogue and try the filters on a search for World Cup.

If you have requests for other filters you would like to see included as default, please let us know.

Timeout warning

A new timeout countdown feature alerts you if your search session has been idle for some time and is about to be reset.
Extension to the timeout period is also being trialled following a server upgrade.

Accessibility

The Voyager 7.0 WebVoyáge user interface was developed to comply with international industry accessibility standards.

Mobile devices

The new SCIS Catalogue is designed to display well and resize for use on various mobile devices.

Technical infrastructure

The SCIS Catalogue is now on a separate server at address: http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au which means it can function independently in the event of downtime on other SCIS services such as SCISWeb. If your network settings or firewall need to be changed as a result, please contact SCIS for the IP address of this server.