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Melbourne Grammar School  Case Study

With Oliver v5 we can provide the whole school community with efficient and effective access to resources, including integrated eResources.

Di Ruffles, Teacher Librarian
At a Glance
Chosen Solution
Flexible Options
Key Objectives
  • To provide outstanding library services for the MGS community, aligned with the MGS vision, purpose and values.
Core Benefits to Users
  • Works efficiently and effectively across 3 campuses
  • Provides ease-of-access to resources in a BYOD mobile learning environment
Supported Users and Library Staff
  • 1,800 students
  • 9 staff

About Melbourne Grammar School

Founded in 1858, Melbourne Grammar School is a multi-campus Anglican school educating over 1,800 students from Prep to Year 12. Grimwade House, the junior campus in Caulfield, is a coeducational Prep to Year 6 campus, while the middle school Wadhurst and Senior School in South Yarra provide education to over 1,120 boys. Melbourne Grammar School also offers boarding, in modern facilities located close to Wadhurst and the Senior School, for boys from Years 7 to 12.

Melbourne Grammar School has three separate libraries - the Walker Library and Kath James Library at Grimwade House, and the Parncutt Library, within the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership, for Wadhurst and Senior School.

All three libraries offer a rich, diverse, multi-format collection which supports the school curriculum as well as providing recreational resources to encourage reading and interest-based research.

Moving to Oliver v5

Melbourne Grammar School has been a Softlink customer for over a decade, with all libraries having now converted to Softlink’s latest, fully web-based solution, Oliver v5.

Di Ruffles is a Teacher Librarian and Oliver Systems Administrator at the Parncutt Library based in South Yarra. Di said Oliver v5 provides functionality which makes a big difference to the way services are offered by the team of five Teacher Librarians and five Library Technicians working across the three libraries.

“With Oliver v5 we can provide the whole school community with efficient and effective access to resources, including integrated eResources," she said.

Melbourne Grammar School - students in the library

Oliver v5 - supporting a mobile learning environment

Melbourne Grammar School has a strong technology focus and required a solution with sophisticated integration capacity and functionality to match their needs.

“It’s a very mobile learning environment, students can access the library home page from anywhere, and from there they have access to the library catalogue and eResources," Di said.

Students from Years 9 to 12 are required to have their own devices as part of the school’s BYOD program and Years 7 and 8 students also use iPads.

“We upgraded the South Yarra library to Oliver v5 in 2013 and that has been excellent in how it has coped with our library’s requirements and demands."

Improving access to library resources

Di believes that Oliver v5 has assisted the library in its primary goal of delivering ease of access to curriculum resources.

“Oliver v5’s support for industry standard practices and resources like Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) has been extremely useful to us."

While traditional print resources are still very important to the school, eResources are the growth area for the library collection.

“We are offering a growing number of electronic resources, particularly in terms of non-fiction and reference material," Di said.

Oliver v5 acts as a central point for all of these resources and the libraries will soon be launching Oliver v5’s Federated Search to enable even better access to databases.

“Students find Oliver v5 easy to use and are finding it easy to access and download eBooks to their own devices."

Melbourne Grammar School - library shelves

Improving library administration processes

Oliver v5 also includes a number of tools which have improved school library administration processes. For example, Library staff have reduced the time spent on following up overdue notices by using Oliver v5’s automated email functionality.

“Students will receive an automatic email from the Oliver v5 system to let them know they have an overdue resource or, if they have an item reserved, to let them know that it has arrived."

The conversion process

The South Yarra campus library converted from Oliver v3 to Oliver v5 in 2013 with the Grimwade House campus following in 2014.

Alongside Melbourne Grammar School’s IT staff, Di assisted the Grimwade House campus during their library’s conversion.

Di said the process was meticulously planned and documented to ensure the transition was smooth.

“The Softlink team were very thorough in making sure that the data was accurately prepared and ready to go for the new system."

Staff at the Grimwade House campus are looking forward to using the new junior and middle school interface, Orbit, in 2015.

Di had not used Oliver v5 prior to working at Melbourne Grammar School but she found it very easy to navigate and was able to start using the system very quickly.

“The online training and help documentation was very helpful," she said.

Di also attended a few group training sessions that were run at Melbourne Grammar School when the South Yarra campus converted to Oliver v5.

“The trainer was very knowledgeable and he took us through a lot of Oliver v5’s features, such as the stocktake module and how to adapt to that. By the end of the training we had covered some of the more advanced aspects of the system as well."

Melbourne Grammar School also finds Softlink’s support service valuable.

“When we need help we usually send through an email inquiry, or occasionally we may make a call to the helpdesk, and the responses are very quick."

Oliver v5 is helping Melbourne Grammar School meet their libraries’ key objective - to provide outstanding services and access to resources which align with the school’s vision, purpose and values.

Learn more about Oliver v5 by watching these short videos