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ACT Education Directorate Case Study

We knew choosing Softlink would see a collaboration and partnership that would continue to develop our school libraries into the future.

Mark Huxley, Past Chief Information Officer, ACT Education
At a Glance
Chosen Solution
Flexible Options
Core Challenge

Standardise diverse systems across schools

Previous systems were not web based and becoming increasingly difficult to deploy to Windows workstations

Library systems required integration with other networks

Migration of data

Library Sites
  • 84 schools

Today’s educational institutes are looking for innovative technology to enhance literacy and academic achievement. Strategies to improve student access to and engagement with resources through technology has proven to achieve results*.’

ACT Education’s Mark Huxley, Past Chief Information Officer outlines the value of Oliver for the deployment of education departments and schools.

“Oliver is an excellent product supported by competent and highly motivated staff."

About ACT Education

The ACT Education Directorate delivers high quality education services through government schools; registers non government schools; and administers vocational education and training in the ACT.

School libraries in ACT schools are well resourced and range from very large collections in excess of 50,000 items in secondary colleges and super schools to more modest collections in some of the smaller primary schools.

Oliver was deployed to 84 schools across a 12 month period at a rate of two schools per week. During implementation library staff were trained and the benefits were promoted to their school staff.

ACT Education’s key objectives

  • To standardise library systems across all schools
  • To ensure a quality web based LMS solution, suitable for both primary and secondary libraries
  • To integrate with student and staff networks
  • To future-proof libraries with new digital collection management capabilities
  • To centralise local school back up of servers


In 2010, the ACT Government set out to upgrade their information and communication technology infrastructure across all ACT government schools. Part of this initiative was to integrate its library catalogues across its 84 public schools and colleges and move to an intuitive web based system.

Oliver was selected as the solution to improve the reach and level of efficiency that ACT Education required.

“Having our schools on the same library system boosts the communication and effectiveness of ACT Education school libraries," said Mark Huxley.

“With Oliver, our libraries can now collaborate with each other on a scale not previously possible."

“Oliver is the exact tool needed to facilitate and integrate the large amount of resources of the varied ACT Education school network. It will improve the efficiency of school systems and enhance the productivity of different learning environments."

Oliver benefits for ACT

Oliver provided ACT Education with:

  • A quality and standardised Library Management Solution
  • Junior search interface specifically designed for primary students
  • A full featured search interface for secondary students
  • Improved reliability and backup due to centralised server hardware
  • Simplified cataloguing strategy using Z-Cataloguing and direct link to SCIS
  • Reduction in maintenance due to automatic update of borrower details
  • Scalable centralised deployment and smooth transition of Alice data
  • Ability to manage digital and physical resources within the one system
  • Ability to integrate with both student and staff networks simultaneously

“Z-Cataloguing was seen as an essential feature to facilitate cataloguing of resources. Z-Cataloguing allows the process to be delegated to staff who are not library trained leaving the Teacher/Librarian with more time to enhance the quality of SCIS records to suit local requirements."

Additional benefits achieved

Softlink worked closely with the Directorate to ensure the smooth transition to Oliver. Schools had a range of systems from various vendors.

Other benefits of the Oliver implementation included:

  • Inclusion of borrower photos in circulation
  • Book cover images displaying in search interface
  • The ability to implement automated update of student borrowers from MAZE administration system
  • The ability to adapt as technologies emerge

“The library catalogue is now accessible from both ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ networks."

Why partner with Softlink?

ACT Education’s decision to partner with Softlink was the result of Softlink’s firm understanding of knowledge, content and library management solutions for school libraries and resource centres.

“We know Softlink have a fantastic track record in relation to innovation and future focus for school libraries globally," said Mark.

“We knew choosing Softlink would see a collaboration and partnership that would continue to develop our school libraries into the future."

“The smooth migration of data to Oliver was a strong incentive to select a compatible product from the same supplier as Alice."

Learn more about Oliver v5 for departments and education offices