Oliver and OverDrive have engaged students into using and borrowing digital resources on the devices they use every day.Maureen Twomey, Teacher Librarian
Assisi Catholic College (ACC) is a purpose-built P-12 college established on Queensland's Gold Coast in 2005. ACC is administered by Brisbane Catholic Education and the current student population is 1300 students and growing. The College values the integration of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning, and encourages students to bring their own digital communication devices to school for their education needs.
ACC's library is part of an iCentre delivering both traditional and digital library services to the school community. Since it was established, the library has relied on Softlink's Oliver Library Management System to catalogue and lend their physical and digital collection.
'Oliver is user friendly and offers enormous functionality for our educational community. Softlink's support staff have excellent customer relations, they give prompt response to questions and we've never had a problem that Softlink has not worked to resolve,' said Ms Maureen Twomey, ACC‟s iCentre Coordinator.
ACC's iCentre has recently gone live with the OverDrive service to deliver eBooks and audiobooks as part of their digital library.
'Our students are familiar with digital media devices including iPods, iPhones, iPads and laptops. Instead of purchasing additional iPads or eBook readers to lend out eBooks and audiobooks, we decided to look for a service that could utilise the devices that were already there,' said Ms Twomey.
'OverDrive was the perfect solution for our school to develop a digital online library for users who had access to digital devices and were comfortable with working in a digital environment. The service also integrates with our Oliver system for ease of access.'
Once the library decided to go ahead with the service, a dedicated project officer from OverDrive was assigned to ACC to set up the school's custom digital collection website.
'We decided on the logo, pictures, collections and formats that were required for our school. Our college uses Mac hardware and applications, and OverDrive provided accessibility to suit these devices,' said Ms Twomey.
'OverDrive's support was outstanding throughout the launch process. The service response was immediate, and the training we received for the system was excellent.'
Following the site's launch, Ms Twomey believes that OverDrive and Oliver worked well together to deliver digital content 24/7 to the school community.
'Students can log into Oliver to browse our complete library collection. Clicking on an OverDrive title in the catalogue will take them to the OverDrive server where it is held digitally, and the title can be downloaded from there. Oliver provides seamless authentication to OverDrive with Softlink's SIP2 module,' she said.
Softlink's SIP2 Module facilitates speedy and simple authentication between Oliver and OverDrive, as students can use their Oliver login to access the OverDrive content without the need for additional passwords.
The two systems also integrate when it comes to cataloguing OverDrive data within Oliver.
Oliver and OverDrive have engaged students into using and borrowing digital resources on the devices they use every day.
'Any items we purchase for the OverDrive collection come with cataloguing data, which is then imported into Oliver. Softlink assisted with setting up the import format in Oliver, so integrating this into the system was easy,' said Ms Twomey.
'Uploading local content is easy as Oliver and OverDrive integrate with each other. Both systems provide the capability to upload local digital content belonging to our college, including lesson plans, curricula, audio recordings, and other teaching material, which form part of our digital collection.'
Ms Twomey is pleased that choosing OverDrive at the school has led to a range of benefits for the library.
'Oliver and OverDrive allow us to deliver digital content 24/7, 365 days, with ease for users and library staff. Students are engaged and excited about borrowing and using digital resources on the devices they use every day. They can check out titles online, download to a PC or a Mac, and transfer them to MP3 players, e-book readers, and other portable devices,' she said.
'OverDrive has given our library a 21st Century image by developing a digital presence that delivers resources in a variety of digital formats.'
ACC encourages other school libraries to establish a digital presence, as it further engages students and increases the library's relevance in the current digital age. When it comes to building the digital library, Ms Twomey explains that it was easier than expected.
'OverDrive saves time in the administration of a digital library collection as titles do not get lost or damaged and we don't have to worry about overdues. With digital formats, there is no time required in processing, shelving, lending, or returning,' she said.
'Our digital library will exist alongside our print collection and we are now able to offer a breadth of formats for our users. We believe we are now offering a service for 21 century learners.'