Education Services Australia manages multiple vocabularies including SCIS Subject Headings List and ScOT. At the SCIS consultation SCIS Asks, Ben Chadwick, ESA Metadata analyst outlined how vocabularies assist search.
Search expansion and faceting
Navigation and browsing
Collections Redirects (“See”)
Related topics (“See also”)
Mapping between repositories
ScOT as Linked Open Data
Ben outlined how ScOT is published as open linked data and can be linked to other unique identifiers, inside and outside the vocabulary. It is available for consumption on the open web and is expressed in a standard, machine-readable format (RDF).
ScOT linking curriculum to resources
To date ScOT has been used to tag 20,000 resources in Scootle and 350,000 resources in SCIS MARC records. The Softlink survey 2013 showed that schools want curriculum alignment. Aligning existing resources to the Australian Curriculum is one of three top priorities of school library staff. Future decisions for SCIS around curriculum alignment include
dealing with pre-2006 records without ScOT terms,
increased records for digital resources,
retrospective updates of schools’ SCIS records
viability of Linked Open Data authorities as a new model for authority files.
Many have indicated that they would love to be able to search by curriculum in order to find related resources and that this would be a huge time saver. Suggestions included looking at the 658 MARC field to introduce a curriculum element.
It was noted that there was demand for automated updating of bibliographic records. This would require a new process to ensure that library management systems can handle requests. It was agreed that the ability to refresh bibliographic and authority records is an important one and further discussion is needed about whether models of linked data could address this problem.
Di Ruffles from Melbourne Grammar School was invited to set the scene for the SCIS Asks 2013 consultation forum and provide her wishlist for school library services.
Di stated her top five issues in school libraries as:
Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential
Plateauing of budget figures is a trend being noticed across many schools
Resourcing the Australian Curriculum
Phase 1 learning areas (English, Maths, History and Science) is a priority. Then resourcing of new learning areas.
Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
Development of programs and resources to support these and,
Australian Curriculum Cross curriculum priority areas
At her school Di noted, iPads are being used through the school with Year 12 providing their own choice of device. Students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. E-Books are causing issues importing into the various devices in a BYOT school environment.
Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is featuring increasingly. Particularly useful apps include an app for the library catalogue as well as the EasyBib app which means students can scan a book’s ISBN for a citation.
For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobooks and digital video library (eg. Clickview). Journals and databases of e-journals are used extensively. Di is seeing less use of the print non–fiction collection. Non-fiction eBooks are used but not necessarily a preferred option for all students. Students are not so fussed with format but the item must be relevant.
Di looked at the changing role of the teacher librarian and used ‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones 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. The library’s website includes research guides (which suggests catalogue subject headings) and a Harvard style referencing tool.
Di highlighted how teacher librarians at her school are working with classroom teachers, for example in a new subject for 2014, Extended Investigation (inspired by International Baccalaureate) which aims to develop student’s capacity to identify and ask good questions, research an area of interest in depth and prepare for university level study.
Based on his latest book, Information Resource Description: creating and managing metadata (2012) published by Facet, Philip outlined three approaches to metadata creation, and considered how cataloguing services like SCIS might develop a hybrid model around these three approaches into the future.
content-based retrieval, eg. search engines
metadata-based retrieval: socially generated
metadata-based retrieval: professional description:
Philip’s vision for future library systems included:
Finding, identifying and obtaining supported mostly by content-based systems
Selecting supported by user reviews & professional metadata
Navigation supported by controlled vocabularies
Phillip recommended that future priorities for SCIS should include providing metadata for key resource to support curriculum in controlled fields, to support tagging done by teachers and students and to manage or co-manage controlled vocabularies such as ScOT.
This SCIS Asks 2013 presentation by Alan Manifold, Digital and Library Applications Manager at the State Library of Victoria sets the future of library discovery architecture in the context of the evolution of library systems and search. Alan outlined the purpose of metadata as being to:
He postulated that the format of the item no longer matters, it is about providing connections between resource and curriculum and resources inside and outside the library. The catalogue which was once designed for inventory control has morphed into a search engine.
Alan posed questions about the evolution in libraries and catalogues in the age of electronic resources, searchable full text and mega-aggregate sites. He touched upon discovery products such as EBSCO,WorldCat Local and the State Library of Victoria’s Primo Central. A useful observation was that while school students need authoritative information as soon as possible, they tend not to require a specific title or edition of a work.
His advice was that SCIS needs to provide connections between resources and curriculum and external indexes and search platforms. He recommends SCIS
continue to provide quality metadata
increase the connecting of resources with curriculum
work on linking controlled vocabularies
highlight diversity of resources and formats and
explore ways to rate materials
Education Services records its thanks to Alan for his clear thinking and recommendations.
SCIS conducted its annual consultation workshop in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November 2013 from 9.30-3.30pm. The consultation engaged SCIS and its partners in discussion about future priorities in our support of school libraries.
On Tuesday 4 December 2012 SCIS conducted a consultation workshop with SCIS partners discussing future priorities in our support for school libraries.
Judy O’Connell, Course Director (Teacher Librarianship) at Charles Sturt University started the day with a set of challenges that covered collections, search, cataloguing, curriculum, interoperability and access. Her presentation Strategic directions for school libraries reinforced the context within which education libraries need to work. These included curriculum, the cloud and game-based learning in a library environment which is both physical and virtual.
The challenge to participants was to rethink library catalogues, which should no longer be seen as simply tools for locating records. Interrogation of data from different data pools requires new thinking and a new user focus. We need to change our technology interface to provide a natural, predictive and responsive search capacity. Web 3.0 challenges us to make library search into a discovery interface.
“How does search impact the way students think, and the way we organise information access?”
Judy pointed out that the search experience influences how students see information structure. Students conceptualise information and the search environment differently, and the way they search should influence the way that we organise information. The learning technologies environment has changed since library management systems were first designed, and we must not lose sight of what is happening in other areas of information retrieval. The importance of metadata developments, including Resource Description and Access (RDA), mean we cannot take old thinking into new information environments.
RDA will be a new standard for resource description and access, designed for the digital world.
Built on foundations established by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR), RDA will provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media.
RDA will enable users of library catalogues and other systems of information organization to find, identify, select, and obtain resources appropriate to their information needs.
During the period of RDA development, the library and cataloguing world updated some key cataloguing principles and developed some conceptual models for resource discovery. RDA is built on these new conceptual models.
If we remember that the highest principle of the International Cataloguing Principles is the ‘convenience of the user’ RDA has aligned with the ICP principles: find, identify, select, obtain. Through RDA we can practise what we preach and work to improve search results and the way these results are displayed. RDA is very much about the user and functionality; focused on users – not items.
The RDA cataloguing standard is designed precisely for an online environment. RDA’s element set has been clearly defined, and incorporated into the Open Metadata Registry, which is a set of RDF-based controlled vocabularies, and a fundamental piece of technical infrastructure for the Semantic Web.
Renate’s overview led into a presentation by SCIS Cataloguing Team Leader, Pam Kadow, outlining proposed changes to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry for alignment with RDA commencing the second quarter of 2013.
SCIS is conducting a consultation workshop in Melbourne on Tuesday 4 December 2012 from 9.00-1.00pm. The consultation aims to engage SCIS and its partners in discussion about future priorities in our support of school libraries.
1.00pm SCIS Consultation closes
Participants are encouraged to stay for a light lunch and then join delegates at the keynote session and opening reception for the IDEA 2012 conference at the Sofitel, 25 Collins Street Melbourne.
2.00pm Keynote: The science and technology of learning, Professor Erik Duval, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
3.15pm Afternoon tea
3.45pm Panel: Challenges and opportunities for digital learning including Rhyan Bloor, Digital Education Branch, DEEWR; Rodney Spark, eWorks; Kerri-Lee Krause, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Western Sydney and Bevan Doyle, Chief Information Officer, Department of Education Western Australia