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Student feedback helps development of the new look Oliver v5 school library system


Student feedback helps development of the new look Oliver v5 school library system

In late 2017, Softlink was excited to unveil a new look for the Oliver v5 school library management system, designed with students, for students.

Oliver v5 - designed with students, for students

Softlink Business Analyst, Dion Dias explained how the changes were directly aimed at making Oliver v5 even more student-centric.

“There has been a paradigm shift. Students increasingly expect relevant content to be pushed to them. We’ve seen this trend in the apps and websites they are using, such as online streaming services.

When we spoke with Oliver v5 customers, they told us they wanted the library system to work in a similar way, as well as having a greater emphasis on reading lists where students could explore curated content specific to a subject or interest.”

Developing the new interface

Following on from those initial discussions, Softlink’s development team worked closely with a broad representation of customers to refine the new look Oliver v5.


Onsite visits were conducted to observe how students use the new system and listen to their feedback. This level of consultation is what drives the ongoing development of Oliver v5. And the result? A highly engaging and user-friendly system for students with all of the flexibility and robust functionality that school library staff need to run their busy libraries.

The new Oliver v5 Browse Lists page
The new Oliver v5 Browse Lists page

The Browse Lists page

Dion said when it comes to encouraging reading for pleasure, students respond best when they can browse.

“The Oliver v5 Browse Lists page is very engaging and attractive for students because it draws on cover art and provides relevant recommendations within a familiar design interface.”

The Browse Lists page offers reading suggestions based on the student’s borrowing history. New, popular, highly rated items and more, are also given prominence, making it a highly personal browsing experience for students.

“The exciting thing about the Browse Lists page is that Oliver v5 automatically populates titles based on what the student is borrowing, what their peers are doing, what the library staff are cataloguing… it’s dynamic, so the student is more likely to discover something new, which is interesting to them. But the great news for school library staff, is that they don’t need to do anything extra to make this personalised library experience happen”, said Dion.

The Browse Lists page also makes it easier for students to uncover additional details about a title and find related resources. Suggestions include additional books in the series by order, books by the same author, and even other books that are close to it on the shelf.


Students can also “Drag and drop” to add multiple items to their basket, directly from the search results page. Once placed in the basket, students can print book lists, reserve items, add to their favourites, and more.

Oliver v5 - add to basket

Feedback about the Oliver v5 interface

Dion said that the existing, popular features of Oliver v5 that students love are still easily accessible.

“The feedback and consultation helped to draw out what was truly important to students and we have made those features more prominent. Students can easily switch between the Browse Lists page, Search Other Sources page* and News page**, which features a variety of information boxes and carousels.”

Student evaluation has already confirmed a fantastic user experience. Year 7 students at Brisbane State High School provided their reviews, with feedback including,

‘It’s easier to find stuff!’, ‘I think it’s really good!’ and ‘It was super easy!’

Brisbane State High School Teacher Librarian, Rob Forsyth added,

‘The new OPAC makes the search process more natural and intuitive, looks very engaging for students.’

The new interface was provided free for all supported Oliver v5 customers.

If you are not currently using Oliver v5 and are interested in finding out more, please email sales@softlinkint.com

*Combined Federated Search and Search Other Providers options


**News page provides the same options as the Home page in the existing Oliver v5 interface