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2023: A Year in Review


2023 A Year in Review

As we wave goodbye to 2023, let's take a moment to reflect on the remarkable milestones, achievements, and growth that shaped Softlink's 40th-year journey to empowering education. From expanding our presence in the education sector to honouring the commitment of our long-serving team members, 2023 has been a year filled with noteworthy accomplishments. Your invaluable support has been instrumental in our success, and for that, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. 

Celebrating Softlink's 40th Anniversary

Amidst the achievements and growth, 2023 was particularly special as Softlink celebrated its 40th anniversary. This milestone is a testament to the commitment to excellence, innovation, and service that has defined Softlink's journey since day one.

From our humble beginnings with Oasis to present-day Oliver, our commitment to pushing the boundaries of library technology has remained unwavering, ensuring we provide the most valuable, secure and loved solutions to our users year after year.

To our valued customers and partners, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your trust over the past four decades! As we celebrate this journey of success together, we eagerly anticipate many more years of shared achievements.

Looking to the future, Softlink remains dedicated to maintaining a cutting-edge approach to technology to keep your library relevant, enhanced security for your peace of mind and a commitment to not only meeting but exceeding the evolving needs of you, our customers. Your continued trust fuels our commitment to excellence, and we are excited about the milestones that lie ahead. Here's to the next chapter of success and innovation!

Welcoming New Schools to the Oliver Family!

One of the highlights of 2023 was the addition of over 260 new schools to the ever-growing Oliver community. These schools have chosen Oliver to empower their educational endeavours, engage and inspire students on their literacy journey and connect the entire school community. Welcome to the family!

Record-Breaking Support Requests

As our user base expanded, so did the demand for our support services. 2023 marked a record year for support requests, with an unprecedented number of tickets submitted. This surge in demand underscores the trust our clients place in Softlink's ability to provide timely and effective solutions. We remain dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations of our users.

Security and Development

In 2023, Softlink achieved extraordinary growth in Oliver with the introduction of over 184 new features! These enhancements range from creating reading badges for student engagement, to streamlined cataloguing, enriching the overall user experience. 

Simultaneously, we’ve prioritised data security by implementing robust measures led by our Security Manager, Tony. These measures include continuous monitoring and staff training, to ensure Oliver not only embraces cutting-edge features but also exceed Safer Technology 4 Schools (ST4S) standards. 

We appreciate your trust in Oliver, and as we celebrate a year of innovation, growth, and enhanced security. We have some very exciting development projects in store for Oliver for 2024 – so, watch this space!

Softlink’s Commitment to Social Responsibility

At Softlink, we hold a strong commitment to social responsibility, exemplified through initiatives such as our ongoing projects in Cambodia and Vietnam. In our continuous efforts to make a positive impact and ensure every child has access to literacy, we have donated Oliver systems to be utilised in these libraries. Through such endeavours, Softlink seeks to contribute to educational empowerment and foster positive change in communities where it is needed most.

Team Member Highlights

This year, we proudly celebrated the anniversaries of several invaluable team members whose dedication has been instrumental in Softlink's success:

  • 5 Years: Roy Jiang, Miles Colledge
  • 10 Years: Susan Fry
  • 20 Years: Peter Dunne, Dion Diaz
  • 30 Years: Russell McGrath

These milestones are a testament to the enduring commitment of our team, whose expertise and passion continue to drive Softlink forward.

Welcoming New Faces to the Softlink Family

Welcoming New Faces

In 2023, we were thrilled to welcome a cohort of talented professionals to the Softlink team:

  • Georgie Arnaud - joined our incredible support team
  • Kerianne Williams – our resident teacher librarian and LearnPath champion
  • Kerryn Fay – Market development and sales for  Vic, SA, NT, TAS, ACT
  • Vickle Yi – joined our talented software development team 

These individuals bring diverse skills and fresh perspectives to our organisation, enhancing our ability to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of the education sector.

Guest Blogs 

Before we close the chapter on this year, let's take a moment to revisit some of the insightful guest blogs we've had the pleasure of featuring. These blogs provide a wealth of information and diverse perspectives from the educational community. Our advocacy for school libraries and librarians is unwavering and we look forward to highlighting more hot topics in the New Year.

Click on the links below to explore:

Elizabeth Hutchinson - The Future of Learning: How school libraries are leading the Way 

Elizabeth Hutchinson is a renowned school library specialist with over 20 years of experience in the field. Elizabeth shares her thoughts on how AI is transforming education and the role of school librarians in this new technological landscape.

Krystal Gagen-Spriggs - Promoting Reading Culture in Schools

Krystal Gagen-Spriggs, a skilled Lecturer in the School of Information and Communication Studies, specialises in school libraries and promoting reading pleasure. Currently pursuing her PhD, her research focuses on reading cultures, teacher librarians' influence, and engaging reluctant readers. 

Kathy Talbot - LearnPath: Paving the Way of Knowledge

Meet Kathy, an educator with nearly two decades of experience in the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese, including several years dedicated to school libraries. With a Master's in Teacher Librarianship (MEdTL), Kathy's expertise lies in assessment design, collaboration, advocacy for teacher librarians, and mentoring through ALIA.

Suzanne Livett - The Benefits Of Reading In Supporting Students’ Mental Health

Suzanne Livett, Head of Library Services at Somerville House in Brisbane. Suzanne is a dedicated advocate for the transformative power of literature and libraries. With a background as a Teacher Librarian and a commitment to quality programs, she brings a wealth of experience to her role in shaping the future of school libraries in Australia.

Story Box Library - Importance of storytelling and reading from an early age

A guest blog post written by the Story Box Library Communications Team.

We appreciate the contributions from our guest bloggers and look forward to featuring more voices in the coming year. We thoroughly enjoy sharing this content with our community. 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 and New Zealand. 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. Early findings have already been released and we will publish the full report early 2024. 

If you would like to learn about our 2023 preliminary finds or read the full 2022 survey report, the resources are available below. 

2023 School Library Survey Australia – preliminary findings
2023 School Library Survey Aotearoa New Zealand – preliminary findings
2022 School Library Survey Report Australia and New Zealand

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

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

Holiday Closure

Softlink will be closed from Friday, 22nd December, and we'll be reopening our doors on Monday, 8th January. During this period, our team will be taking a well-deserved break to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time. From the whole Softlink team, have a safe and happy holiday season.

A final word

As we close the chapter on 2023, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers, partners, and team members for their unwavering support. The milestones achieved and challenges overcome this year set the stage for an even more promising future. Here's to an even better year in 2024. 

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 2024.