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All about Oliver v5 group training – and why you should give it a try


Oliver v5 Group Training is a fantastic professional development opportunity to learn from our expert trainers, develop your Oliver v5 skills, and find new ways to make the most of your library software.

It is also an opportunity to connect with other school library professionals to share ideas, network, and collaborate with the wider school library community.

Softlink runs Group Training sessions throughout the year, Australia-wide, at various host venues. While they represent great value for money, schools can further benefit from a discount by hosting a Group Training session at their school. If you would like to learn more about hosting, please email grouptraining@softlinkint.com.

Oliver v5 Group Training Courses

There are a number of courses available, dependent on host schools and level of interest.

Topics include:

  • Oliver v5 Getting started
  • Advanced Oliver
  • Cataloguing
  • Circulation
  • Serials
  • Stocktake
  • New Features & Homepage


To view course descriptions, click here.

If you would like to view the scheduled Group Training sessions, click here.

Here’s what some of our attendees had to say:

“I thought the PD session was great and I learnt heaps. Excited to get back to work and update Oliver! The Softlink Trainer was great too.” 
Sharon Corkin, Library Assistant, Roma Mitchell Secondary College

“Both sessions were fabulous! The Softlink Trainer obviously was well versed with the system and presented extremely well. He was very helpful with all questions raised.” 
Karen Saxby, Library Assistant, St John’s Grammar School – Belair

“This is my first year using Oliver. As I have learned more, I have grown to like more of its features. The webinars, Softlink community site and Group Training sessions have also been a valuable way to learn more, and I have always received good support over the phone.” 
Monica Altmann, Teacher Librarian, Faith Lutheran College Redlands

For this blog post, we spoke with Russell McGrath, Softlink Education Training Manager about these sessions, what attendees like most about them, and tips for getting the most out of a Group Training session.

Russell McGrath on Group Training

I’ve presented hundreds, (possibly thousands) of training sessions since I started at Softlink. If you’ve been a Softlink customer for a while, you may even remember attending my OASIS, Alice, and Oliver v3 courses.

Benefits of Oliver v5 Group Training

Group Training is very popular, and there are plenty of reasons why attendees find these sessions so valuable.

Firstly, it’s effective. In a single training session you can really improve the way you use your Oliver v5 system and find out new ways you could be using it. For me, it’s extremely satisfying to hear how people will use various aspects of Oliver v5 functionality when they return to their library.

It’s also a great networking opportunity. Attendees find value in sharing ideas and experiences, both about Oliver v5 and about library work in general. Before and after training and during breaks, participants enjoy discussing day-to-day resource-centre issues, such as time allocations, budgets, computer labs, IT staff, teaching staff, and of course, student library activities … sometimes Group Training sounds and feels a little like “group therapy”!

Another advantage to Group Training is that it can offer you a fresh perspective. Yes, you may have been using the system for a while, but is there a better way of performing some tasks? There may be gaps in your knowledge, and there are often shortcuts or alternative ways of achieving the results you need. Often, there’s just a simple step that could save you lots of time, or new features may have been introduced with upgrades and you haven’t discovered them yet.


Here’s some tips for how to get the most from attending Group Training:

  • Consider the topic of the training session and bring a list of questions. Training staff are always happy to answer your questions and you are very welcome to ask us – there’s no such thing as a silly question.
  • If possible, bring a laptop so you can access your own Oliver v5 system during the training. Group Training courses are lecture-based and laptops are not compulsory, but you might find it helpful to try some things out on your own system as you learn. Don’t try everything as its being explained, though – there’s a lot of information to take in and you don’t want to miss anything important! NOTE: Some host venues may not provide internet/Wi-Fi access, so it’s best to check beforehand if you think you’ll need it.
  • Keep your notes brief. Stick to headings and main ideas – for the key concepts, a range of Oliver v5 how-to documents are available to fill in the blanks/missing steps when you get back to your library.
  • Give yourself some homework. Where applicable, write yourself a to-do list based on concepts discussed at training, e.g. review lending rules, ensure parameter for xyz is set appropriately, change colours of circulation desk tabs, so you remember to try out your new knowledge while it’s still fresh in your mind.

For further information about Group Training, visit the following pages:

  • If you’d like to view the currently scheduled courses or register to attend Group Training or click here
  • If you would like to view the course descriptions click here
  • If you would like to learn more about becoming a host school and the discount available email grouptraining@softlinkint.com
  • If you would like to read reviews from Oliver v5 users about Softlink Education training and trainers click here


Editor’s note: this post was originally published in July 2017 and was updated for freshness, relevance and accuracy in August 2023.