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By Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

School library automation in Australia: issues and results of the first national survey

This title turns out to be a little misleading with only the first section relating to the survey. The book actually contains four reports on various aspects of library automation: the National Survey results, Crucial factors in online enquiry, MARC for Teacher-librarians and Providing access to fiction in school libraries.

For many T /Ls the issue of library automation is still on the agenda. Some will be searching for a replacement system with perhaps capabilities different to their current system. Others are still deciding on their first - 4276 school libraries have automated systems out of 9865 schools! This Survey provides an overview of the school library automation scene Australia wide with a brief history of some of the most common systems in use. It was concerned with integrated systems where at least three of the usual five functions are combined into a single database - cataloguing, OPAC and circulation. The systems were all cross analysed highlighting modules available, 3 operating systems and the number of installations. The results have been tabled for quick reference and a list of suppliers provided for further information.

In Crucial factors in online enquiry: OPAC design for school library users, Paul Drayton draws on recent research which emphasises the interaction between school children and OPAC facilities, and the relevance to future interface development and information skill instruction.

For those not familiar with what MARC records are all about, Ellen Paxton gives a detailed and clear explanation in MARC for teacher-librarians: an introduction. While it doesn't affect day-to-day management of the library, it does become a concern when installing a new automated system.

Ashley Freeman examines how T /L's can improve access to fiction in Providing access to fiction in school libraries: some thoughts and observations. The diversified and extensive use of fiction within the curriculum has prompted Ashley's comments which are derived from practicing T /L's and years of personal experience. Card catalogue access to fiction was always limited, SCIS now provides extensive subject headings: this Paper looks at other options.

Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)