Oliver has led to improved access to resources for all library users, and allows for greater flexibility in terms of workflows for library staffWarren Armitage, Chief Information Officer, Brisbane Catholic Education Office
|At a Glance|
Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) is a learning community of over 130 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. This area covers most of south-east Queensland, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Ipswich. BCE is committed to high academic standards and nurtures the values of social responsibility and self-discipline, within a Catholic Christian context. Its aim is to provide quality teaching and learning outcomes for Prep to Year 12 students.
Before moving to Softlink’s Oliver, BCE’s 134 schools and its central professional library and media centre had eight different library systems installed on school servers and library computers. The multiple systems were funded, managed, and supported at a local level. Many of the libraries had budget constraints which prevented them from upgrading to newer versions.
To gain greater consistency across their community of schools, BCE decided to establish an enterprise wide method of delivering school information systems, starting with their library system.
Mr Warren Armitage, Chief Information Officer of Brisbane Catholic Education Office, said the ability to offer centralised support and consistent standards across all BCE schools was an essential reason for choosing Oliver v5 over other library systems.
‘We chose to replace the multiple systems in our schools with a centrally delivered and supported library management system. We felt this would lead to consistency in library management processes across BCE,’ Mr Armitage said.
‘Staff and library users who transfer from one school to another within the diocese would already be familiar with Oliver, which reduces the amount of training involved with using a new system. We were pleased with the level of support Softlink has provided, as well as the functionality of their systems. Compared to other vendors, Softlink is a local company who were able to provide an enterprise solution capable of meeting our requirements,’ he said.
‘We chose Oliver for its ability to seamlessly integrate with other school information systems, which was an objective we were looking to implement in the future. Oliver allowed us to implement this straight away.’
Using Oliver across the diocese was beneficial in terms of staff support and development for BCE.
‘Using a centrally delivered LMS across the diocese allows us to provide centralised access to library system support and training opportunities for all library staff, regardless of their location,’ Mr Armitage said.
‘Previously, some library staff had limited or no access to these opportunities, due to distance or budgetary constraints.’
‘We find the use of Oliver as a central LMS invaluable in terms of professional development of staff and building support networks.’
Oliver’s web based nature was another key benefit for BCE schools.
Having a centralised LMS resulted in a noticeable cost saving for individual schools as their budgets could be used for updating their resource collections.
‘Oliver has led to improved access to resources for all library users, and allows for greater flexibility in terms of workflows for library staff,’ Mr Armitage said.
‘We are now able to provide all school libraries with a contemporary web based LMS and the necessary infrastructure that otherwise would not have been possible for many schools across the diocese. This has directly addressed the inequalities between different school sizes, budget, and resources available.’
‘Oliver has led to potential cost savings for individual schools on local information technology infrastructure, support, maintenance and software upgrades.’
‘As a result of these savings, some schools are using this as an opportunity to investigate new trends in resource collection development, such as purchasing eBooks and other digital resources.’
As BCE schools are united under the same LMS, they can collaborate on the best practice of using Oliver for teaching and learning.
‘A benefit of using one system across our schools is the collegial support and discussions that can now take place about best practice, in not only the practical aspects of using Oliver, but also the use of Oliver to support teaching and learning.’
‘At a diocesan level, the provision of a centrally delivered library system has given us the opportunity to collaborate and share the role of library delivery support at an inter-diocesan level. The use of Oliver can be monitored to ensure that it is responsive to the needs of all library users.’
In 2012, BCE approached Softlink to supply and integrate the OverDrive School Download Library within the diocese, enabling the ability to lend eBooks and audiobooks.
‘We chose OverDrive because of the integration it offers with Oliver, and it’s large selection of digital titles available and the ability to offer both a centralised and distributed resource collection.’
‘The use of digital resources is expanding rapidly with our introduction of a Learning Management System. We feel Oliver and OverDrive will enhance our ability to manage the availability of some of these resources.’