New Directions – Concurrent Session 8 – VALA 2012

What is the catalogue – Helen Livingston – University of South Australia

Catalogue is a register of all items found in the library. (showed Wikipedia definition – long). Told us Charles Cutter”s definition – incorporates what there is and where can I find it.

Who is the catalogue for? Our users, but not sure if it was always that way. Have lots of content to assist users to find what they want. Its also for inventory control – tells us loans, physical location and helps with acquisitions.

What do we catalogue? Physical items, databases, aggregations, web sites and items owned but held elsewhere? And it has changed over time. Since 2004, the ANZ expenditure on e-resources has climbed from 15 to 30% of budgets.

Special collections, serial collections are all digital and are being catalogued.

User behaviour – what is the easiest place to start research according to students? – Google.

So what is the catalogue becoming? Is it to provide access to library materials or just a place to collect metadata. Most catalogue data now comes from national agencies, libraries, publishers and commercial entities.

The standards of cataloguing are changing. RDA, based on FRBR principles, to replace AACR. It will bring different format of same title together. eg. dvd, books, notes etc. Recently announced that ALA will begin the massive transition away from MARC.

Catalogues inventory control purpose isloans – between 2004 and 2010, loans ffell from 24.5 million to 15 million.

What might we do? Keep the catalogue, continue to buy records, layer the catalogue with discovery layers, maintain loan systems, work with library vendors to improve systems. In other words, we can keep up with the times, moving along gently.


We could stop copy cataloguing, stop focusing on details, point to records rather than buying or storing them, embrace new standards (and be cheerful about it), incorporate virtual and physical shelves in the virtual and physical worlds. Become super efficient and flexible.

We don’t do so well at getting knowledge of our virtual resources to our physical shelves.


Ditch the catalogue as a tool for users, ditch it as an inventory control system, incorporate records for in-house physical material into discovery systems, get a simple inventory control systems for the decreasing physical purchases, make loans REALLY simple (or don’t lend the physical out of the building!)

The Internet of everything: linking the print and online collections – David Feighan and Sue Healey

Showed the “Internet of things” on YouTube. (IBM Social Media)

The internet of things is going to be big, to the point where there will be many more things on the internet than actual people on the internet. NIC sees it as a major disruptive trend by 2025. Raises a lot of privacy concerns etc. China has also identified it as a key strategic emerging industries for them.

First two areas that physical collections and spaces have gone virtual, have been via RFID and QR codes on their rooms. But will students use them? Surveyed them and found that at Year 7, 45% had smart phones, but Year 10 it was 83% and ubiquitous in Years 11 and 12. They showed a QR code and as long as they could say how they were used, they were defined as knowing what they were. It was over 70%.

The library space is being used so they are using QR codes to connect them to the online resources. On shelves, they have A4 size shelf talkers, which are themed and have a QR code which links to their online resources. Allows you to link to websites, Facebook, YouTube video, Google Maps location and many, many more. There are other sites for QR code generation and doing a site on YouTube will give you many videos of how QR codes are being used.

Near future? Using RFID and geospatial tagging will your phone show you where the items is?

And then let you touch on to check it out? Its not happening because we want them, but is actually being driven by the retail and entertainment sectors. But these developments can also lend themselves to libraries.

As we re-purpose our space as learning commons, how do we get those space on the internet?

Linking objects and people within spaces and games (Parallel Kingdom).

Change or fade away: school libraries need to change – Bronwyn Foxall – Abbotsleigh

School libraries are not immune to the challenges facing all libraries. The only way forward is to discover what your own community wants.

Why are librarians important in schools? What do you do that is so important that the school would suffer if you weren’t there.

Library functions are changing – AV is going digital, reducing number of books, empty spaces due to PC removal and more.

Surveyed students and stakeholders to find out what they could do to revision what they are doing. Main reason why students came to the library, to study alone, to research, to find a book, to attend a class and then to study in a group. Use of computers will die due to laptops for every student.

Asked them what spaces they needed? Quiet study was the biggest demand, and then individual spaces. Open ended questions biggest response was a request for a cafe. More demand for specific spaces – quiet study rooms, group study rooms, individual study space. They were also asking for more books, even more than requests for e-books and magazines etc.

In response they removed shelves to create discussion spaces, created quiet study rooms and a multimedia space – all of which have delighted students.

Need to keep rethinking the library facilities, but also the services. Used a fun film and library vouchers to reach Year 12s, added a discovery layer and federated search to their catalogue, library blogs, run competitions around the library using QR codes and the students have responded well.

Some of the things they want to be able to do:

  • new furniture styles for collaborative learning

  • add a bit of whimsy

  • put some bookcases on the balcony with tables and chairs (WD books)

  • funky shelving spaces

  • different lighting styles

In order to survive, school libraries must be engaged in a continual process of assessment and evaulation.