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It may be time to ‘weed’ out outdated or little-used material.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!

Digital resources to use on Harmony Day

Harmony Day is celebrated on 21 March, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and following Victoria’s Cultural Diversity Week (12–20 March).

We have created catalogue records for the following digital resources:

Harmony Day : recipes for harmony [website], by the Australian Department of Social Services (SCIS no 1753238)

This website provides information about Harmony Day 2016 and information about the multicultural make up of Australian society. It also provides news feeds, access to free resources, and ideas about how to celebrate the day. Included is access to ‘Recipes for Harmony’, an online resource featuring recipes, cultural profiles and personal stories from every-day and high profile Australians. It also includes a teacher resource to accompany ‘Recipes for Harmony’, which provides example lesson plans, work sheets, ice breakers, and other classroom activities.

Y challenge : celebrating diversity [website], by the Australian Red Cross (SCIS no 1753460)

The Y program encourages young people to explore and celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity. It also helps them develop projects that promote fairness, respect for one another, participation and a sense of belonging among their school and local communities.The program is divided into three sections (Description based on online preview). The program is divided into three sections: Explore, Inspire, and Take action.

Harmony Day Stories (SCIS no 1753463)

Experience three stories that are part Australia’s past, present and future – Renata, Kofi and Anh. Download the Harmony Day Stories app today to watch each stories come to life with augmented reality, a cool new interactive experience (Taken from the app’s description). Available from both Apple and Google stores.

Share our pride, by Reconciliation Australia (SCIS no 1753479)

Developed by Reconciliation Australia, this website introduces its readers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cultures, and perspectives. ‘Share our pride’ was designed to raise awareness and break down cultural myths and barriers in order to build respectful relationships.

Roads to refuge, by the Australian Red Cross (SCIS no 1696317)

Roads to Refuge is designed to give students, teachers and the community access to relevant, factual and current information about refugees (Taken from website).


To find more resources celebrating cultural diversity on SCIS OPAC, you can ‘Browse by subject‘ using a range of different subject headings, such as: Harmony Day (Australia); Cultural diversity; Multiculturalism; or Cultural enrichment.  You can also check out the carousel on our homepage, featuring books that promote a variety of multicultural perspectives.

If you use any other websites or resources that celebrates cultural diversity and encourages cultural awareness, we’d love to hear about them. You can leave a comment here or send us a tweet at @schoolscatinfo.

Genre Headings

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.

The ‘Guidelines to Using SCIS Subject Headings’ contains a comprehensive list of all the fiction genre headings used by SCIS  (see section 5.7).

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:

Go to Advanced options http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/searchAdvanced.

  1. In the ‘Search’ box type in the genre heading, for example ‘school stories.’
  2. Select ‘as a phrase’ from the drop down menu.
  3. Select ‘subject’ from the second drop down menu.
  4. 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:

Genre-fying the Library! (3)

Genre Shelving In Progress.

genre

 

Challenged resources

American Librairies Association Posters - IFLA WLIC 2014 CC

Challenged resources are those that may be considered controversial or offensive to members of the school community. It is important that schools have guidelines and procedures in place to deal with any challenges that may arise.

Guidelines and procedures regarding challenged resources should be developed within the school community. The Policy Statement – School Library Bill of Rights from the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) website is a useful starting point, as well as the school’s own Collection Development Guidelines.

Dealing with challenges

Dealing with challenges should be a systematic process involving:

  • referring the challenger to the school’s Collection Development Guidelines
  • completion of a Request for Consideration of School Resources by the challenger
  • a decision on whether to remove the item from the shelf immediately or after it has been reviewed
  • a review of the challenged resource by a committee comprising the principal, resource teacher, a P&C representative and the person making the challenge
  • the principal being responsible for the final decision to remove or retain the challenged item.

Donated resources

Resources donated to the school library should be added to the collection only if they:

  • are compatible with the Collection Development Guidelines
  • adhere to the selection criteria
  • fulfill a need or enhance the collection.

Donors should be informed that their donation undergoes the same selection process as any other resource under consideration for inclusion into the collection.

Originally published WA DET School Library Support: http://www.det.wa.edu.au/curriculumsupport/schoollibrarysupport/detcms/navigation/resourcing-the-curriculum/selecting-resources/#toc6. Used by permission of D. Bevan, Nov 2013

SCIS as selection aid

Next term our grade 2s will be studying Looking back: how and why things have changed over time?
The teachers already have come knocking to borrow books on these topics. Our library doesn’t have  much on this, and I would love to get some more resources for our library. (Ozge, Library Manager, Melbourne)

This is where SCIS OPAC becomes a valuable selection and collection building tool.

SubjectBrowse
Screen shots of SCIS OPAC produced by permission of Ex Libris

Browse or Search by Subject for the topic you need to find resources for.

  1. In this case ‘Australia Social life and customs’
    (but it could be Scarecrows – Fiction, or a Dewey search for more recent books ‘like this’)
  2. Then select the specific headings that are relevant to your students.
    In our ‘Looking back’ example, investigate specific decade subdivisions.
  3. If you sort the results by Published date (most recent first) you will find titles that are more likely to be available from your regular suppliers.
    **Of course, you will still need to evaluate these resources against your specific collection policy and school requirements. SCIS catalogues resources held in a large number of school libraries, and not all of these will be relevant or appropriate to your school.
Screenshots produced by permission of Ex Libris, based on Voyager
Screenshots of SCIS OPAC produced by permission of Ex Libris