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CEO Sydney and Softlink innovate knowledge access for learning


Oliver v5 Logo

Access to the right knowledge helps students to learn and grow.

In a major knowledge system improvement project, the Sydney Catholic Education Office recently boosted its schools’ capabilities to support greater student engagement of, and improve access to, academic resources across the Diocese.

SCEO Director of Curriculum Mr Seamus O’Grady said the project to upgrade the 147 primary and secondary Sydney Catholic schools to Softlink’s leading school knowledge, content and library management solution, Oliver v5, was a significant project to support student learning and streamline resource management.

“Sydney Catholic Education is dedicated to student development programs and this project is a positive step towards more flexible learning outcomes,” Seamus said.

“Oliver’s intuitive knowledge performance platform has enabled us to centralise and share resources, whether physical or digital, across schools and integrate all information services and subscriptions.

“Other benefits include 24/7 home and remote access, a single search for resources across schools, streamlined interlibrary lending and library productivity and efficiency improvements,” he said.

Softlink CEO Mr Kim Duffy said recent studies, including Softlink’s Australian School Library Survey, demonstrate a positive link between access to library resources and literacy levels.

“Within the current economic climate it is paramount for schools to drive value in terms of student achievement from the knowledge within their collections,” he said.

“The role of the school library has evolved. It is now the school’s central student engagement hub for learning. Whether online or from within the library, today’s students want information at a touch of a button, 24/7. They were born into the ‘Internet Age’ and are programed to get knowledge from a single ‘Google-type’ search. In this environment it is important for schools to offer greater transparency and more flexible access to the right resources.

“Softlink solutions enable schools to provide a single, customisable interface to resources, offering easy access to students anywhere and anytime and on most modern devices,” he said.

SCEO and Softlink have partnered to improve knowledge and library performance with the Diocese’s schools for more than 20 years.

The project benefits more than 70,000 students from Prep to Year 12 who now have access to the latest in knowledge and library management technology.

SCEO Library Management Technologies Officer Mr John O’Brien said Softlink has delivered a successful and seamless transition with minimal support required throughout the implementation.

“Softlink has worked collaboratively with SCEO for many years and have helped us to customise solutions to suit our individual needs. We look forward to continuing our long partnership with Softlink,” he said.

Softlink is the leading provider of school knowledge, content and library management software in Australia.

Since implementing Oliver all schools within the Archdiocese now enjoy the following outcomes:

- Connectivity to all schools across the Archdiocese. A single search for resources can be conducted for resources across schools. Interlibrary loans and resource sharing capabilities across schools have also been enhanced.

- Connectivity to external resources including:

  • Free Google Book reviews, fully and automatically integrated into Oliver.
  • Over 60 external providers of online and hard copy resources, including free access to over 80,000 eBooks through the Gutenberg Collection and The Children’s International Digital library, local libraries, Randwick library and the State Library.
  • Access to all universities, libraries, book shops, museums, art galleries, search engines, eBook suppliers. Oliver can access these sites and resources from a single enquiry at no additional cost.

- Students can now have 24/7 access to electronic and online resources in Oliver from home.

- Link to

  • more than 13,000 Educational, cross referenced, suitable for primary and secondary integrated websites in their collection. These resources are centrally updated monthly.
  • more than 1,500 interactive educational, cross referenced, suitable for primary and secondary websites in their collection as per the Teacher Learning Federation Pathways (SCOOTLE).

- Have centrally managed and automatically updated Premiers Reading Challenge, Lexile levels, SCIS Authority files and Weblinks in each collection on a monthly basis.

- Improved efficiencies also include:

  • All CEO schools are now able to email directly from Oliver.
  • Printing of overdue and other notices is becoming redundant.
  • Recovery of missing items is more efficient.
  • Significant time savings for each librarian/school from loading resources, cross referencing, backing up and housekeeping efficiencies.
  • Oliver provides a resource booking system which can be used to book resources including equipment and teacher interview times eliminating the need to have a separate system.

Click on the links below to learn how a central library solution can help your department: