The All Hallows’ School library has had a distinguished history since its inception in 1882, and rapid changes in technology over the last three decades have produced a major shift in how the library operates and delivers student services.
Softlink is proud to have been part of that history – the All Hallows’ School was one of our first customers and continues to be today.
In 1984, the All Hallows’ School purchased Softlink’s first library management system, A.L.A.R.M. to help them manage their library processes and resources. A.L.A.R.M. was a DOS based system with library cataloguing and circulation functionality. It supported a card cataloguing system by producing a print out of the relevant records.
Then, in the same year that Brisbane graced the world stage as the host of Expo 88, computers were introduced into the All Hallows’ School library and the card cataloguing system was upgraded.
The library moved to Softlink’s second library management system, Oasis in 1989, which provided more sophisticated cataloguing and circulation functions, reports and acquisitions management plus periodicals and serials management.
Accelerated changes and access to technology in the late 90’s resulted in Softlink’s first windows based product, Alice, being released in 1997. The All Hallows’ School library was one of the first to implement Alice that same year.
The school had developed a master plan for their library that included building renovations and digital innovation with the objective of producing greater flexibility in educational, social and structural development for their students and school community.
In 1998, stage one of the school’s master plan was completed with a refurbishment to the Potter Reference Library that included a new fiction lounge with comfortable couch, three research areas and a number of sound proofed discussion rooms.
The refurbishment also brought about the introduction of a Senior Study Centre which catered for 70 students with computers. The Senior Study Centre was accessible after hours, which meant for the first time senior students and the school community could utilise the facilities outside of library hours.
Web-based technology produced even greater opportunities for access. In 2006, the school implemented Oliver v3, which gave students and the community a whole new level of access to library resources as the first web-based library management solution available to schools. Students now had 24/7 access.
Head of Library and Information Services, Anne Weaver said that digitisation has improved access to resources exponentially.
‘With one to one mobile devices, every student can access the OPAC to locate books, DVDs, journals and digital media. They can access a multitude of resources stored on Moodle to assist learning and learning activities. They can access databases, audio-visual resources and the world wide web 24/7.’
The school upgraded to Soflink’s latest and most advanced knowledge, content and library management solution, Oliver v5, in 2011. Oliver v5, offers deep digital integration and streamlining between the Oliver v5 public Search interface (OPAC) and other learning management tools, third party eBooks, federated search and student management systems.
Anne said, ‘students need skills and tools to sort through the huge amount of information available and assess its accuracy.’
‘They also need skills in locating the information that meets their task requirements at a level suiting their reading level. In addition, students need to know how to ask questions and be creative and innovative in their research.’
She said that with Oliver v5 students can curate their information, gathering it directly to their devices. They can use the software and other tools to do this more efficiently.
With the release of Oliver v5 build 7 upgrade, All Hallows’ School students will have access to a new ‘search tips’ tool, which will help to guide them to refine and develop their search from the public Search interface (OPAC).
Anne said the biggest benefit of Oliver v5 is that resources are stored in a central place, whether it’s eBooks, book reviews, websites, Clickview, pdfs, books, journals or other digital media, students can access them.
‘This centralisation of information assists learning through improved access for the school community, even a map for physical locations of resources is provided. Users can check their borrowing record, reserve books and self -manage their library experience, empowering them to become more independent life-long learners.’
In April 2014, the All Hallows’ School library moved into a newly designed and refurbished space. The new space reflects a move toward spatial and social integration as major influencers in 21st century library development and can seat over 400 students and staff.
Anne said the library has progressed from being reading and storage centred to being learning centred. The new library will support the schools’ learning objectives and blended learning.
‘Libraries have evolved to become learning centres with a new social environment. The library is about collaboration and learning together because so much of the information is online.’
Anne Weaver, presented at EduTECH 2014 on the evolution of the library in the 21st century, said that a lot has changed in the last ten years.
‘Integration of digital resources is essential to improve access and create pathways to use resources more efficiently. It facilitates communication and sharing with the community, connecting the various sources designed to assist learning, so they can be used whenever needed.’