Library Automation in Australia

By Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

With many school libraries faced with replacing and/or upgrading their initial automated system, the second edition of School Library Automation in Australia: Issues and Results of the National Surveys could well prove a handy tool.

Under the editorship of Ken Dillon from Charles Sturt University, this edition contains 18 chapters divided into seven sections. Section One includes the results of a series of three annual surveys of the school library automation marketplace in Australia. Data about the market share and geographic distribution of automated systems is provided in addition to vendor contract information. Data collected from a survey conducted in New Zealand on their automation vendors is also included.

Section Two contains two very different papers about OPACs offering T /Ls alternatives. Kylie Hanson focuses on successful information retrieval by users of OPACs in the school library while Judy Clayden examines the potential of GUis as alternative OPAC 'front-ends' to the more traditional text-based or command-line interfaces. In Section Three, Penelope Maddick describes the role of SCIS cataloguing agencies and provides some revealing statistics about SCIS records and formats. Ellen Paxton demystifies MARC for teacher librarians and explains the sometimes complex steps which have been required to transfer SCIS data to USMARC format.

In Section Four, Rosemary Abbott provides some sage advice for those who once again find themselves 'in the market' for an automated system, while Jean Indermaur and Pru Mitchell share their checklist for selection of a second generation system. John Lee challenges us to use our library databases for a range of resource management and curriculum purposes while Ashley Freeman urges us to re-consider the provision of access to fiction via automated systems. Pat Brosnan, Fran Robinson and Bruce McDonald describe a successful model for setting up new schools with an automated system and foundation library collection.

In Section Five, Gail Dous and Mary West describe AGAMA, a low-cost library automation alternative for small and remote schools and Alan Ford provides the background and rationale for the Code Catalogue, a 'teaching and learning' alternative to integrated library systems.

Fiona Harper, Arthur Winzenreid, Chris Skrzeczynski and Glenys Williamson profile the use of library automation software in a range of different schools in Section Six. History, current use and future possibilities are explored.

Finally, Section Seven comprises a select bibliography of recently published items about library automation for the reader who may wish to pursue some aspects of the area in more depth.

Further information and ordering details are available from the Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 660, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678 or on e-mail: [email protected]

Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)