Letters to the Editor

By Dianne Lewis

Dear Editor,

I recently received my new edition of the SCIS subject headings list. It's really good to have an up-dated subject headings lists which reflects current terminology, but I am very disappointed with the binding and presentation.

Why publish a book which will be used daily over many years, in paperback, on poor quality paper and bound so that the right hand page entries are so close to the centre margin that the book must be forced flat to read them? It would be more cost-effective for libraries to have paid a little more for a book that would last a lot longer -or at least to have had a choice of binding.

Another suggestion for the next edition would be to place the standard sub-division lists at the front of the book for easier access.

Notwithstanding these problems, the subject headings list is an invaluable cataloguing tool.

Ilga Pearce

To the editor, Connections,

Congratulations on another interest-ing issue (No 10). The article on the Southport School is fascinating. It would be interesting to get some idea of the cost of setting the system up, and also the staffing of library & information services that makes its use extensive .

Would you please send me as mentioned the list of electronic reference sources used at the Southport School.

I am also interested in supporting schools' access to the Internet. Nexus is very useful and I am finding LM-NET fasinating.

Many thanks

Jill Stevens

Dear Jill,

The cost of establishing the TEP at The Southport School was two fold.

Firstly: the installation of the fibre optic cables from the Library into the identified classrooms, wiring around each room, then linking into the Hub. This cost is dependant on the metres of cable required and labour: for T.S.S. it amounted to around $34,000.

Secondly: the related computer hardware costs depend on the number of items purchased. 325 Toshiba Notebooks were purchased under special arrangement with Equico and Tower Australia at approx. $2,800 per unit. The Network Hardware (Approx. $24,00), CD ROM Towers (approx. $26,000) plus the peripherals (printers, scanners, tape backup drives, software etc.) brings the Schools total investment in the TEP to around $500,000. The School did receive generous sponsorship from Toshiba (Aust), Tower Australia and Equico Financial Services.

As with all libraries, we could use more staff! However, I am fortunate to be part of a great working team and together we meet most informa-tion requests. I am the only Library professional and each staff member is responsible for certain duties:

  • 1 Senior Library Technician (TAFE qualified) who controls the automated library database & reader services.
  • 2 Library Technician (TAFE qualified): 1 in charge of circulation and ILL; the other: on-line databases, copy cataloguing and textbooks.
  • 2 Computer Technicians (Uni. graduates): 1 in charge of the Novelle Network and the Technology Workroom; the other, laptop and software maintenance.
  • 1 "Rent-a-Porn" Gunior Resident Master from England under the GAP scheme) maintains the book-stacks and the floor of the Library.
  • 5 Library Wardens (Year 12 students) rostered to handle circulation duties outside academic time.

Heather Kelsall
Information Services Manager
The Southport School

Dear Ms Lewis,

The School Library Associations of SA Committee is made up of the three committees of professional associations for teacher-librarians in South Australia: ALIA Schools section, Resource Centre Teachers Association (an association of the South Australian Institute of Teachers) and the South Australian School Libraries Association. We meet as a joint committee to share ideas and lobby as one voice for teacher-librarians in South Australia.

At the last commitee meeting of SLASA, your request for support for lobbying for school's access to the Internet was discussed. The Committee felt that we should support your lobbying campaign since we agree that at the moment schools are being denied this valuable source of information. We as teacher-librarians are preparing our students for the future by planning & teaching information literacy skills and we know that in the future students will need to be able to access databases such as the Internet for their information needs.

We believe schools should be able to access Internet at a reasonable cost.

Students should be aware of this valuable source of information. We hope Australia will finally follow Iceland's example and provide all people with free access to Internet. (1)

Please let us know how we can help your campaign.

Yours faithfully

Jill Duffield
Chairperson SLASA

Dear Jill,

The issue of affordable access is one which we need to take up through our professional bodies -not only ASLA, ALIA and the state bodies but also via related professional education associations such as the Information technology and computing groups and other subject associations. I hope that Connections will continue to press this issue.


Dianne Lewis