The 2017 Softlink Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey Report

Here are some Key Findings and my comments regarding Strathmore SC 

We are in the 21% of schools whose budget increased

We are now in the 68% of schools that now provide access to the library from outside the school

We are in the 66% of schools that now include eBooks in our collection

We are in the 52% of schools that include eResources (subscription databases) in our collection.

Here is a snapshot of what Library staff believe are the most important services that they offer
1. Providing an engaging & welcoming space for learning & leisure with 63% of respondents indicating that this is an
important or very important service,
2. Developing & managing the schools resource collection with 52% of respondents indicating that this is an
important or very important service,
3. Developing or teaching information literacy programs with 46% of respondents indicating that this is an important
or very important service.

Emerging trends show that Increased Technology integration and Cloud based technologies are the most important. Our shift to the Infiniti system means that we are “on trend”.

Some 21st century school library stuff

At  end of the 2017 school year, the school made the decision to fund a new Library Management System. I had recommended three cloud based systems and based on my SCIS experience arranged for a demonstration  from Infiniti on the basis of, ifthis was not the system for us we would spend further time evaluating the other two systems.

Happily all went well and we acted fast in securing an end of term changeover which involved moving the database to the new system. Supported by an excellent team we have been operating the circulation system since the third day back at school. We have one more webinar session and then we switch on the full system. In the meantime we are handling our borrower changeover and working to clean up the data to enable a cleaner version of the catalogue and of search results.

We will now be able to offer the school a cloud based landing page with federated search facilities which students can access via Compass our LearningMangement System thus providing 24/7 access to the collection. Our task is to make our online space as attractive as our physical space.

We are very conscious of the opportunity this gives us right now to work with faculties and introduce the new access to the library and emphasise our Libguides to students and of course staff.


Professional development and Social Media

2007 and it all changed for us in Education. We had technology and with Facebook Social Media went mainstream and we had to adapt.

For professional development I was an early adopter of Twitter settling on the moniker Larry the Librarian. I could connect with librarians and educators, I was exposed to ideas and could share thoughts.

Somehow my Twitter feed has become a mish-mash and I now question its value as professional development. As a school librarian I regard this as very important for building up my VIT hours. I intend to remake my professional twitter account as an learning tool. I will expand on this further and outline my intent and results in a post..

Facebook is troublesome for privacy, data and security issues and its sheer might it concerns me. It can be a very useful professional tool but I wish to sort it out for personal reasons to make it a more useful social tool for me. A post will follow.

This leads me to LinkedIn and my professional presence. My third task this break is to tidy up my websites and look at how I am presenting myself. This will hopefully lead to a focused professional and social media focus. Resharpening the brand as they say.


What a teacher librarian can do for you

What a teacher librarian can do for you


Study Skills (Ergo, Diigo)

Research skills
Learn how to improve your skills to get the best information and results.
Study skills
Learn how to stop procrastinating, reduce stress, and get ready for exams

Essay writing skills

Learn how to analyse your question, then plan and write a great essay.

Web 2.0 tools

The 21st century library

Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential as Schools look at resourcing the Australian Curriculum including phase one learning areas, the general capabilities and the Australian curriculum cross curriculum priority areas.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)


‘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 student’s capacity to identify and ask good questions and to improve study and research skills.


Modern school library design will look more to buildings such as Trinity Grammar’s Tudor Centre and its contemporary approach to library design 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, audiobooks 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.


The school library catalogue is in most schools 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 your 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 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.


We therefore need to look at 21st Century next generation library systems which will need to meet expectations that it can manage digital rights management, a seamless secure single sign-on and federated searching across a variety of multiple resources, databases and collections.  Next generations systems will need the ability to connect with  a variety of devices and increasingly to apply a personalised service similar to the Amazon or Google experience.


This is why making digital content discoverable through school library catalogues is a priority.

For a long time a priority for library staff has been to organise the physical library space in ways that are attractive, encourages users to visit, to explore and make it easy for them to find what they need, assist browsing for inspiration. We work to make location and lending of resources as seamless and self-service 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 also serve our library users accessing and downloading resources in virtual spaces.