CC News

By Schools Catalogue Information Service

Farewell to Lance Deveson

Lance has been with Curriculum Corporation since September 1990.

Lance has been a key member of staff with the Corporation for his whole tenure. He is personally responsible for the fact that SCIS is still with us. Without his dedication, commitment, hard work and technical skill, it is doubtful that SCIS would have made it to the second half of the 90s.

Sometimes, when Lance comes in dressed in a short-sleeved Collingwood jumper, a beanie and a pair of appalling football shorts, it is hard to remember that he is a significant national figure in the school libraries network. But he is. He is the only one of us who is genuinely regarded as a guru by his peers. I sometimes, in moments of weakness, agree to speak to conferences of Teacher Librarians. When I do, they wait impatiently through what I have to say, then all ask questions about Lance.

'How is Lance?' 'He was looking very tired when we saw him last.' 'We do hope he can come to our next conference!' 'He is such a lovely man!' 'You will tell him to eat up all his vegies.'

As a result of Lance's departure, I will no longer be able to go to conferences of teacher librarians, since all I will be asked is how we could let such a wonderful person go.

I want to thank Lance on behalf of the Board for the outstanding work he has done for the Corporation. He has been the heart of SCIS for years, and I know he feels a strong personal commitment to the maintenance of that service to Teacher Librarians. It is to his great credit that, despite all the difficulties and financial hardships SCIS has endured, it is now more popular, efficient and technologically advanced than at any time in its history.

Curriculum Corporation wishes Lance the happiest and most successful time in his new job.

Bruce Wilson
Chief Executive Officer

Thank you from Lance

Sitting in my office in East Melbourne and being surrounded by Books and Users in a 'real' library has enabled me to reflect on my 7+ years at Curriculum Corporation and in particular the SCIS Unit.

Without doubt, those 7 years have been the most challenging of my career to date, but also the most enjoyable. I look back, with many very pleasant memories, on the achievements the team within SCIS attained in that period and without doubt Connections features highly in those achievements. It was one of the first tasks I was assigned when I commenced at Curriculum Corporation and therefore it is pertinent that I write this Thank you to you all in Connections.

Nigel and Ellen have given me the opportunity and some space in Connections to say thanks to the many Teacher Librarians who have listened, advised, written to, argued with, but at all times remained very good friends with me during my time at SCIS. I thank you all for your support of SCIS, and me personally, during a great time of change within the service. The advent of the downloading products is something of which the SCIS team can be immensely proud.

I would also like to thank the SCIS staff, Ellen, Nicole, Maxine, Tricia, Jan, Heather, Angie and Narelle for their undying support of the SCIS aims, and of me personally, in my time at Curriculum Corporation, for without their abilities and belief in what we could achieve together the SCIS of today would not have been possible. The staff within each SCIS agency also need special thanks for their efforts in ensuring that data is entered onto the SCIS database in a timely manner, and in accordance with SCIS cataloguing standards. Thank you all.

My new position at the Corporate Resource Agency will enable me to further my interest in the next big push within libraries -digital resources. My new position gives me that opportunity but I wouldn't have been able to pursue that had it not been for the valuable experience and opportunities I have had within SCIS.

I thank you all and hope you all continue to support SCIS -the best bibliographic service for school libraries in the world.

Best wishes,
Lance Deveson.

Vale Alan Ferguson

Teacher Librarians will be saddened to learn that Alan Ferguson, a former employee of ASCIS and Curiculum Corporation as its Education Officer, passed away suddenly on January 24th, this year.

Alan, and his wife Jenny, were two of the original employees of ASCIS and Alan was instrumental in creating the DOBIS online module, ASCISRECON and established the original ASCIS Helpline. Alan, in his role of Education Officer, was also responsible for much of the early User training and documentation, as well as assisting at lnservice days and Conferences. Alan, and Jenny, worked at ASCIS and Curriculum Corporation until 1992 before resigning to pursue other library interests. After SCIS, Alan kept up his contact with school libraries by involvement with ASLA, both as a member, and at times, employee.

The SCIS staff were very shocked to hear of Alan's untimely death and our thoughts are with Jenny and the family at this time.

Vale Alan.

Other staff news

As well as Lance's departure, Nicole England is currently on maternity leave. Tricia Nathan is now looking after customer support and marketing. Jan Mathews has recently joined the team and provides customer support and liaison with library software suppliers. Ellen Paxton continues as National Cataloguing Co-ordinator, and is responsible for SCIS database quality and liaison with state cataloguing agencies. Maxine Campbell continues to provide customer support and product and data quality assurance. The SCIS Unit is managed by Keith Gove, Curriculum Corporation's Information Services Manager, who also manages the OZJAC Unit. Technology support is provided by the Corporation's Information Technology Manager, Graham Williams.

New Products -SCISWeb and SCISCD

At last, customers have been able to subscribe to two products that allow them to search and export catalogue records from the SCIS database and then immediately download those records into their Library automation system. If you are requiring further information about our new products all details can be obtained from our Website. We would encourage Teacher Librarians to refer to Curriculum Corporation's home page regularly to receive any updates of important information. Early in the year, the home page was updated with a lot of useful information included.

The CD product name has been shortened and will be now known as SCISCO (last year it was referred to as the SCIS Downloading CD ROM to distinguish it from the old product).

Handy hints for effective use of new products:

  • Your current scanner will probably read the ISBN correctly. However, some older scanners and wands do not operate correctly. If you are uncertain then test the barcode scanner in a word processing package. Open a new document and scan some ISBNs. If ten digits appear it is reading the ISBN correctly. However, if thirteen digits appear it is not operating correctly as it is picking up the UPC (Unit Product Code) This will not provide you with a match on the SCIS database for a catalogue record. Check with your supplier to have the scanner reconfigured and if this is not possible then you will need to purchase a new unit.
  • On some older books, there is a barcode but the ISBN is not included in it so you will have to search inside the book for the number.
  • Curriculum Corporation does sell a scanner which has been tested. You may be able to purchase another brand which will work satisfactorily.
  • If the barcode scanner is on the circulation computer and you would prefer to use another machine then detach the scanner and connect it to the machine which has Internet or CD ROM access.
  • After importing a record into your automated system, you have the opportunity to enhance the catalogue record if you wish by adding more subject headings, typing a review, adding a synopsis of the blurb or adding notes about the key curriculum learning areas.

Handout re Automating library collection using SCIS

A copy may be obtained from the SCIS page on the Curriculum Corporation Website or by ringing for a copy to be posted or faxed


At the beginning of the year, it is likely that we will get many calls about subscriptions and the use of the new products and we will endeavour to answer those calls as quickly as possible. However, we know that you will appreciate that at particularly busy times the receptionist may have to take a message. A customer support person will then return your call as soon as possible.

To avoid delays you may prefer alternative methods of contact by fax (03) 9639 1616 or email: [email protected] requesting a phone call. Please list some convenient times for us to return the call.

Please note: Ferntree Corporation is now known as GE Capital IT Solutions (General Electric Capital Information Technology Solutions)


Important notice to customers about breaching copyright. The following notice appears on all our documentation about SCIS products.

'Schools are reminded that the SCIS database is subject to copyright and 'copy cataloguing' (including 'screen dumps' of SCIS catalogue records) is a breach of copyright.'

It appears that some customers are unaware of the correct use of our products: SCISWeb, SCISCO, SCISLink, SCIS Microfiche, SCIS Subject Headings Disk, SCIS Subject Headings List book. Some recent breaches of copyright have been pursued legally. Integrity of copyright is essential for the quality and financial viability of SCIS. This applies to schools and library automation software suppliers. Further clarification of copyright is available from SCIS Customer Service on (03)9207 9600 or 1800 337 405.

Schools Catalogue Information Service