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2022: A Year in Review Blog


2022 A Year in Review Polaroids

That’s almost a wrap for 2022. What an exciting year it’s been for Softlink Education. We have loved welcoming new schools that have chosen Oliver as their school library system and want to thank all the schools that have continued to use our software - some for over 30 years! With the holiday season quickly approaching, we thought we would take the time to celebrate and reflect on what an incredible year 2022 has been. 

Team Member Highlights

Firstly, we would like to welcome all our new team members who have started this year at Softlink. We would also like to celebrate Dion’s 19th year with Softlink. What an achievement! Some of you may know Dion in the development team as out Oliver v5 Product Champion. Dion has been an integral part of the design team for many years, and we can’t wait to celebrate 20 years with him next year. 

“Design is a part of my role that I really enjoy.  It’s especially rewarding when it results in something that people find easy to use and adds value for them.”

Dion Dias, Oliver v5 Product Champion

Sandra, our Technical Support Analyst has celebrated her 10-year anniversary working for LibCode.  Sandra is well-known in the LibCode community for her friendly nature and knowledge of Libcode. You will often hear her ask, “have you been doing your backups regularly?”. As an ex-librarian, Sandra knows how a school library operates. She is always happy to chat or assist you with any of your queries. 

“It seems like just yesterday I was setting up my office and becoming a groundbreaker by working from home (unheard of in 2012) …  and as always, our clients are just so lovely!” 

Sandra Vince, Technical Support Analyst

New Features in Oliver v5

Our development team have been working hard this year to continuously improve and develop the product loved around the world. There are many new and enhanced features in Oliver v5 that we are extremely proud of. We have condensed some of our customer’s favourite new features below: 

  • Cataloguing Substitution rules
  • Improved Enhance Resources function
  • Continuous Deployment
  • Teacher Library Portal

The Cataloguing substitution rules, along with the Enhance Resources function saves valuable time by making the cataloguing process quick, easy, and efficient. 

We have also introduced a method called continuous deployment. This means that we can now deploy fixes and small enhancements to hosted Oliver systems on an as-needed basis, rather than having to do a lengthier development cycle as with a larger product release. 

The new Teacher Library Portal (which is currently in Beta testing) will be a very useful tool for teachers. It is also a great pilot for a new development toolset which will help speed up the development of other new features. 

If you would like to learn more about some of our recent developments from this year, head over to this blog. 

Teacher Library Portal 

Softlink is very excited to announce our new Teacher Library Portal for Oliver v5. It is a very simple and easy way for teachers to be able to circulate resources to their students. It also gives them an overview of their class. With the ongoing pressure that school libraries face, we understand that many libraries have time constraints and pressure. This portal will allow teachers to easily complete these library tasks and duties without touching the main administration side of Oliver. Here is a little sneak peek of what this new feature can do:

On the class selection page, you can select which borrower group you would like to access. 

Teacher Library Portal Class Grouping

Once you select your borrower group, you can loan and return books here. 

Teacher Library Portal - Loan and Return

This is a great tool for the ever-changing environment of the school library. If you have any questions regarding The Teacher Library Portal, please contact us at sales@softlinkint.com 

LearnPath Hub

This year has been an exciting time for LearnPath with our LearnPath Hub officially turning one! Our LearnPath Hub is where librarians can share their templates and resources with each other. The Hub has been rapidly expanding with hundreds of schools publishing and downloading content from the platform. 

With more schools implementing LearnPath as their content curation platform, it means more templates and community-based learning – who doesn’t love that? It is a great way to showcase your creativity and share how you have been utilising your LearnPath system. 

To find out more about the LearnPath Hub, visit this blog.  

LearnPath Hub Quote

We are back on the Road! 

With the covid restrictions lifted, it means…. we are back on the road again! HOORAY!! Finally, a sense of normality. Travelling and meeting many of our new and existing schools brings us great joy and we look forward to visiting many more schools in 2023. We have also started to attend conferences again this year. The first in-person CELib event was held in Rooty Hill in June and the second event was held in Brisbane in November.

Kylie has completed multiple road trips around Queensland this year. Which includes visiting some of our most rural schools. She also attended the Future Librarians Library Group (FLRG) conference in October where she was able to demonstrate our Oliver v5 and LearnPath products. 

Janette has completed numerous trips in Victoria and attended School Library Association (SLAV) Conferences. Travelling thousands of kilometres means many hours of listening to music. Let us know if you have any song recommendations for their road trips (P.S. Janette “loves” country music). 

Back on the Road with Softlink

Group Training 

Russell, our Training Manager, has been here, there, and almost everywhere this year!  We have received an outstanding amount of positive feedback about these training sessions and will certainly continue them in the new year. 

“Thank you to the Softlink trainer for their wonderful professional help in providing very relevant information on Oliver v5. We thoroughly enjoyed our day of training and learnt some very valuable information, tips and hints.” 

Chris Naunmann, Senior Library Technician, Lourdes Hill College, Queensland

Sandra, our Technical Support Analyst, conducted three Libcode workshops across Queensland this year. They were held at Brisbane (Tingalpa State School), Toowoomba (Rockville State School) and Dalby (Dalby State High School – Bunya Campus). These workshops were well received by all participants and feedback has been extremely positive. 

“It has been marvellous getting back out and about, touching base with our LibCode clients. Training my very apt fellow support/admin person – Susan, she’s an amazing learner!” 

Sandra Vince, Technical Support Analyst

If you would like to host one of our group training sessions at your school, please email: grouptraining@softlinkint.com

Guest Blogs 

Thank you to everyone who read, participated and shared our blogs this year. We thoroughly enjoy sharing this content with our schools. Next year, we would love to add more guest blogs to the Softlink website.Whether you would like to share your library display, Oliver v5 review, or walk us through your day in a life as a librarian, we would love to hear from you. If you would like to contribute to our blog, please feel free to email us at: communications@softlinkint.com 

Annual School Library Survey 

Once again, Softlink held the Annual School Library Survey for Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. We had over a thousand participants this year which is an outstanding number of responses. Thank you to everyone who participated in our School Library Survey this year. We will announce the findings in March 2023. 
If you would like to learn more about our previous 2021 survey, the findings are available on these three blogs below. 

2021 Australian School Library Survey report – Softlink (softlinkint.com)

2021 School Library Survey Report UK – Softlink (softlinkint.com)

2021 School Library Survey Report NZ – Softlink (softlinkint.com)

Alternatively, head over to our resource page and download the full report here. 

Case Studies, Reports, Videos and Brochures – Softlink (softlinkint.com) 

Safety and Security

With many Australian companies being targeted for data leaks and breaches this year, security is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. You can rest assured that Softlink has extensive experience in security. Tony, our Security Manager has been keeping busy with monitoring and enhancing all our systems and providing continuous staff training for all team members. Security is at the core focus of everything we do. That is why we are proud to say that Oliver v5 meets the minimum requirements for ST4S since 2020

A final word 

We have some other very exciting things in store for the future of Oliver. Our development team are currently in the design stages of some other exciting new projects. Although we can’t say too much about these now, we think they will be very well received. So, watch this space! 

Once again, The entire Softlink team would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season. We look forward to welcoming you back and working with you again in 2023.