SCIS is more

By Ben Chadwick

SCIS Manager Dr Ben Chadwick shares information about the new SCIS system, coming later in 2017.

I was recently at a conference and found myself in conversation with a metrologist and an engineer. In the course of pleasant banter they asked me what it meant to be a librarian in the age of Google. My answer — that the need for resource curation, information and digital literacy, and knowledge management was greater than ever — came as no surprise to them. They instantly comprehended that this age represents not a diminished role for information professionals but a fascinating and challenging evolution. Part of that challenge is to provide advocacy and leadership in settings, such as schools, where librarianship is only one cog in the larger machine.

So, this issue of Connections is particularly pertinent, and I thank Nicole Richardson for curating a fascinating and timely collection of articles. Hilda Weisburg discusses the need for leadership in the school library professions — even if it doesn’t feel comfortable or come naturally. Martin Gray discusses the pros and cons of moving forward with an ebook collection. Elizabeth Hutchinson reminds us of the library’s importance for digital and information literacy, and of the need for active two-way engagement with teaching staff to reinforce this. Our own Nicole Richardson explores possible interfaces between the library and the World Wide Web. And Megan Stuart reminds us that we need to come back to our user’s basic needs: a quiet and comforting space to spend time with friends and discover great stories.

SCIS is also showing initiative in this ever-changing digital era. When SCIS was founded (as ASCIS) in 1984, I was busy running around the playground with my gang the Super Sneaky Team and, no, I was not a librarian at the time (you can read more about it on our blog). Now, I feel very privileged to be involved in a complete revision of SCIS’s online services. Over coming months we’ll be releasing more detailed news about these innovations but, to whet your interest, we’re looking forward to a new system that will:

  • provide more timely and effective help and support
  • enable easier, streamlined invoicing
  • offer better security
  • provide a more engaging interface and user-friendly environment
  • make bibliographic and authority data available through multiple avenues including contemporary APIs, and express and expose data in multiple formats, including as linked data
  • incorporate new, rich data to enable you to better support teaching and curriculum, including the capacity for our community of users to contribute to that richness
  • fit better with subscriber’s workflows, including use of our cataloguing services and easier integration of our digital content into your collection.

For further announcements, please make sure your email address is up to date in your SCIS profile. I look forward to being able to provide more details in subsequent editions of Connections, so watch this space!

Ben Chadwick

Ben Chadwick

Manager, SCIS

Education Services Australia