SCIS is more …..

SCIS = Successful Cataloguing in Schools

SCIS cataloguers add up to 4,000 catalogue records to the database each month. The resources we catalogue come from a number of sources such as publishers, booksellers and education systems, but the majority are contributed by school library staff throughout Australasia.

In order to assist us in keeping the SCIS database up to date, we encourage schools to send any resources not on the SCIS database to one of our cataloguing agencies for cataloguing. Cataloguing agencies supported by the state education authorities in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, as well as SCIS cataloguers in Melbourne, Adelaide, and New Zealand, all welcome resources from schools for cataloguing.

There are three SCIS cataloguers in New Zealand. They catalogue books, non-book materials, websites and teacher and digital resources that are purchased by New Zealand schools and relevant to the New Zealand curriculum. Teacher resources include New Zealand Ministry of Education and Learning Media publications, including resources in Maori and Pacific Island languages.

In September 2009, our SCIS cataloguer in Dunedin, Bruce Moir, gave a presentation to the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) Conference in Christchurch. Bruce outlined the types of resources which are unique to SCIS and gave an insight into the process by which SCIS cataloguers create original catalogue records with the items to hand.

Bruce described how SCIS cataloguers save you time by ensuring that each record accurately describes the item to hand. Records are created either from scratch or by editing and enhancing records from other databases, in which many items are catalogued prior to publication and do not always correspond exactly to the published items.

Each ISBN has a separate record in SCIS, so you don’t have to check on multiple ISBNs. You can be confident that records include SCIS standard Abridged Dewey classification numbers, including ‘book numbers’ or call number suffixes to help with labelling and shelving. Cataloguers include SCIS Subject Headings and Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) terms as a matter of course and where possible, especially for online resources, a summary of the content. Subject headings are carefully chosen to be consistent with other resources on similar topics and to comply with the Guidelines to Using SCIS Subject Headings.

SCIS Subject Headings include many terms suggested by New Zealand users, for example ‘Rocky shore’, which is not included in other lists of subject headings. Many SCIS records also have a note indicating that the work is by a New Zealand author and/or illustrator. To find these with a SCIS OPAC keyword search, search for either the phrase “new zealand author” or “new zealand illustrator” (include the double quotes).

Over 10,000 website catalogue records on the SCIS database are free for SCISWeb subscribers. These websites are endorsed by education authorities and catalogued to SCIS standards. They can be found by searching SCIS OPAC. For example, to find Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) Hot Topics about Sir Edmund Hillary, try a keyword search for ‘tki hot topics hillary’. A title or keyword search for ‘tki hot topics’ will find all the Hot Topics catalogued to date. Just note the SCIS numbers of the items you would like to include in your catalogue and use them to order records in SCISWeb. Alternatively, you can download website catalogue records in monthly batches from the ‘Special Order Files’ page. From Special Order Files, you can also order sets of catalogue records for other resources which are not available in other library databases, including The Le@rning Federation (TLF) learning objects (which in New Zealand are available through Digistore,; the ClickView digital video library, and websites reviewed in the New South Wales Department of Education and Training’s Scan journal.

Elsewhere in this issue you will read about a library supplier who through collaboration with SCIS ensures that books ordered by schools are catalogued in SCIS before the items are supplied to schools. SCIS has many similar arrangements with publishers and suppliers of library resources. This cooperation benefits everyone.

Bruce Moir, SCIS Cataloguer
Leonie Bourke, Manager, SCIS