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Meet Technical Support Analyst, Sandra Vince


Sandra Vince

In November 2017, LibCode merged its school library business with Softlink Education. Since then, Softlink Education has continued to support LibCode users with the help of the valuable LibCode team.

Sandra Vince, LibCode Technical Support Analyst, has been a valuable member of the Softlink Education Team bringing with her a wealth of knowledge about school libraries and school library software.  

More recently, Sandra has been expanding her knowledge working closely with the Oliver support and training teams and, while she will continue to support LibCode users, will be adding Oliver users to her portfolio.  

We were excited to chat with Sandra to hear her experience with the merger and hear her valuable tips and tricks for our LibCode and Oliver users.  

How has LibCode changed in the years since you’ve been employed?

I started work at LibCode in mid-2012 and it has certainly changed over the past nine years! 

When I started, clients were still using LibCode 6.79. Since then I’ve contributed ideas and worked with LibCode 7 (including Z39.50 cataloguing), upgrades for CMEWeb (news tabs, GoTo links, better search terms, etc.), and last of all LibCode DAVE. 

Helping to build DAVE from the ground up with the programmers was fantastic and it allowed me to contribute my library experience, both in support and working in schools, to the development process.

I was able to be involved in developing, testing, adding new features, and working with test schools to get the best results from the product.

The merger of LibCode and Softlink has been a great learning experience. It was certainly an adjustment going from a company of 4 staff to over 50! 

While I am still supporting LibCode clients (I’m not leaving anytime soon!), I’ve also been learning how to use Oliver and LearnPath, which is wonderful. 

Why do you like working with school library software?

My passion stems from my library background running libraries in both primary and secondary schools (two of these libraries were at new schools so started from scratch!).

Anyone who knows me will also know I have a passion for books and gaining knowledge through research. If you’d like a book recommendation or 100 just let me know! 

What is your favourite book? 

Hmm… I would probably have to say books, plural! I will read almost any genre (I would read a cookbook if I had nothing else to read!).  

Not long ago I finished Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton and thoroughly enjoyed it. This led me onto All Our Shimmering Skies which was also a great read. 

My favourite authors are: Joy Dettman, Jackie French, Candice Fox, Diana Gabaldon, Sarah Donati, Marcus Zusak, Paullina Simons, Rosamund Pilcher, Maeve Binchy, Monica McInerney, Vanessa McCausland, Steig Larsson, and J.R.R.Tolkien. 

If anyone has any good reads that they would like to recommend, please feel free to let me know.  Better still, if you would like me to recommend a book for you to read, please get in touch. I recently added my 850th book on Good Reads! 

I hear you’ve been to some pretty remote places for work. How was that experience?  

Last year I visited Bedourie for a week to help get their library back up to speed. Leanne, the Principal, was just wonderful and made me feel right at home. It was fantastic being back in a library; culling, stocktaking, cataloguing, and circulating. 

It was pretty hot and isolated out there although, after living for three years in Roxby Downs SA, I should have expected the heat and isolation!

What would be your top support tips?            

I always tell my clients if they are finding something laborious then they need to get in touch as there is usually a quicker and better way. You don’t know what you know until you know it!

Teacher librarians are becoming increasingly time poor. To run the library optimally they need to find out what functionality is available for them to utilise! 

Also, although not technically a support tip, with staff working remotely due to COVID I’d like to offer some personal tips to support you during this time.

As someone who has worked remotely for years I know working from home can be challenging. My top tips would be to…

  • Create a space in your home that is for work only. Once I am at “work”, I’m in my zone!
  • Make sure you limit your working hours. It can be too easy to blur the lines.
  • Ensure your internet is as good as it should be.

I hear you’ve been working with the broader Softlink Education team, would you like to share a little about that?

I was very excited to work with Dion to include some of the favourite LibCode features in Oliver. 

For example, browse by borrowers in the circulation desk was a feature that DAVE users just loved. Seeing a class group on a screen all at once (with filters) is so much easier for a librarian. This way they can ascertain which students haven’t borrowed, whose birthday it is in the week, and who has overdues all at a glance. 

I hope to be involved in more feature development in future! 

I have also been working with Russell on delivering some Oliver training.

As LibCode users would know, I’ve been delivering training for LibCode products for the past nine years. 

Russell has recently been showing me some of the finer details of Oliver that I am now busy practicing in my spare time (what spare time?). I’m looking forward to supporting Oliver users in the not-too-distant future. 

Creating LearnPath Guides for the CBCA Notable and Shortlisted Books was another exciting project. I had the opportunity to wear my librarian hat to curate resources that LearnPath users can share with their students through the guides in their system. 

I have a few more ideas for guides which I will put up possibly next term, so keep an eye out! 

Want to discuss books (or LibCode) with Sandra? Email Sandra.vince@libcode.com.au to arrange a chat! 

Meet more of the Softlink Education team