Term 4 1999
1. Thank you
SCIS would like to thank the many people we have been involved with during 1999:
- The schools who have subscribed to SCIS in 1999; we look forward to your continued support next year.
- The Government, Catholic and Independent organisations that arrange bulk purchase SCIS subscriptions.
- The Teacher Librarians who have provided us with feedback by completing product surveys, contacting us by email, telephone or fax and attending conferences and SCIS demonstrations.
- The Cataloguing Agencies who have endeavoured to catalogue resources as quickly as possible to ensure that the catalogue records are available when schools access the SCIS database. Also, the considerable work by all agency staff with their assistance and contributions for the fourth edition of SCIS Subject Headings.
- The Library Automation system vendors who support SCIS products and work with us to ensure compatibility with our products.
- Nigel Paull who is retiring from his role as editor of Connections newsletter. We have appreciated his contributions to the newsletter over the past two years. It has been great to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated Teacher Librarian.
2. Winners of SCISWeb and SCISCD Surveys
We would like to thank all the customers who completed the SCIS survey form. All customers who responded by 31 August were eligible to win a copy of the new fourth edition of SCIS Subject Headings and will receive a free copy when the book is distributed in October this year. The winners are: Eastbourne Primary School, Rosebud, Victoria Frederick Irwin Anglican School, Mandurah, Western Australia Launceston Primary School, Launceston, Tasmania St Joseph's School, Murgon, Queensland. Over 1,000 responses (15% of users) were received which is a very high return rate. A preliminary analysis has been completed with a more detailed analysis to be undertaken. The findings to date relate to usage of SCIS products and SCIS customer service and support, and include:
- 92% agreed or strongly agreed that using SCIS products saved time for other tasks.
- Over 90% intend to use the web product in 2000.
- 80% definitely and 20% probably would recommend SCIS products to colleagues.
- 99% found the manual either satisfactory or most satisfactory, and of the 70% who contacted customer support at least once, 99% found the assistance either satisfactory or most satisfactory.
- About 40% regularly or sometimes use SCIS catalogue records to manually create their own catalogue records. This apparent inefficient use of SCIS requires further exploration to determine whether subscribers are making the most effective use of the products, or whether enhancements to SCIS (or library automation systems) might more effectively meet their needs.
- 30% sometimes use SCIS as a selection tool for acquisitions.
- 20% of SCISWeb users had a response time of around a minute or more for a typical search. This is likely to be due to Internet performance rather than the SCIS Voyager software, but will be explored further to optimise response times.
- Hundreds of detailed comments were received which will be used for product and service improvements. A number were pleasingly delighted, and a few stated that cost was a difficulty which suggests that the discounted arrangements with a number of states and systems is genuinely assisting schools to make use of the SCIS products.
3. Access to SCISWeb 1999
We intend to upgrade the Voyager System during December this year. This is a complex exercise requiring considerable time, expertise and involves a number of parties to ensure its success. Hence, SCISWeb will not be available for the duration of the upgrade. At this stage we are advising customers to finalise all work involving SCISWeb for 1999 by the end of November. When the dates for this upgrade are confirmed we will advise you via SCISWeb's 'Message of the day'. We anticipate that SCISWeb will be available again on Monday 17 January 2000.
4. Access to SCISCD 1999
We wish to advise customers that the SCISCO Edition 5 expires on 31 December 1999 and that you will be unable to download SCIS Catalogue records from your 1999 SCISCDs after this date. After receiving feedback from the customer survey and due to some technical issues, the first edition of SCISCO will be delivered to schools in the first week of February 2000.
5. SCIS Customer Support
A reminder to ring the SCIS help line 1800 337 405. Staff are available to answer queries about the use of SCISWeb and SCISCO and to provide training over the phone. This is a free service, which we hope customers will take advantage of when the need arises. We also recommend that you look at Education Department websites, which provide extensive information about the use of SCIS products. Western Australian Government schools may wish to contact CMIS.
6. Subscriptions 2000
Due to requests from Teacher Librarians we are making arrangements for SCIS subscriptions for the year 2000 earlier than in previous years. SCIS subscription forms will not be sent out to all schools because their current subscription is a standing order and they will automatically receive the product for the year 2000. Curriculum Corporation is pleased to announce that there will be no increase in the recommended retail price for SCISWeb and SCISCO. Customers will be able to commence using SCISWeb again on Monday 17 January 2000. Customers will continue to use the same password in the year 2000 as they had for 1999 but the counter for records downloaded will be reset to zero. Contact SCIS to have password reset if necessary (only if misplaced or unknown). Email: [email protected] Fax: (03) 9639 1616, Tel: (03) 9207 9600 or 1800 337 405. Schools need to identify which of the following SCIS subscription categories they belong to as this will determine what has to be done, if anything, to have SCIS in 2000:
a) Education Department bulk deal arrangements
b) National Catholic bulk deal arrangement
c) Independent Schools bulk deal arrangement
d) Christian Parent Controlled Schools bulk deal arrangement
e) Current subscribers to SCIS not involved in the above arrangements
f) Non subscribers who do not belong to any of the above arrangements.