Our IT staff were also stretched for time and did not have the knowledge to handle specialist library technical problems.Robyn Markus-Sandgren, Library Manager
|At a Glance|
Located on the Gold Coast, St Hilda’s School (founded in 1912) educates girls from K-12 in a supportive environment. St Hilda’s nurtures their students, assisting them to develop and keep up-to-date with the pressures of the modern world.
The library consists of two sites with approximately 65,000 resources and five staff. The borrowing community consists of approximately 1500 staff and students. The library aims to provide students with physical spaces and an online environment that encourages and supports lifelong engagement with learning and researching.
St Hilda’s library originally moved to Softlink’s Oliver in late 2009 as the result of their previous system’s technical support and development being phased out. Ms Robyn Markus-Sandgren, St Hilda’s Library Manager, said Oliver was the ideal tool to assist the library’s focus to stay abreast of library technology.
‘We seek to improve our library services all the time and central to this improvement is the ongoing maintenance, upgrading and management of library technology. In Oliver we found a LMS that allows for increased use and interactivity in an online library environment,’ she said.
‘Oliver is web based which means students can interact with the library catalogue anywhere they access the net.’
Softlink’s staff are focused on working with libraries on an individual basis, and Ms Markus-Sandgren recognises this as a key benefit of using Oliver.
‘We were seeking to work with professionals who understood not only the library software, but the role of libraries, their technology, and the library catalogue in a school environment. Softlink provides us with these securities and delivers these efficiencies, engaging on a professional level with our library staff,’ she said.
St Hilda’s upgraded to Softlink’s Oliver v5 following its release in 2011. Since upgrading to the newer system, Ms Markus-Sandgren has been impressed with the new functionalities and features of Oliver v5.
‘The improved design of the Home Page, the OPAC search display and the new book cover carousel are great. Our borrowers love the new-look OPAC,’ said Ms Markus-Sandgren.
‘The changes in Oliver v5 have addressed many factors in Oliver v4 that we saw could have been improved, both functionally and aesthetically. The upgrade is particularly useful and pertinent, and I highly recommend it.’
Using Oliver v5 in St Hilda’s library has also inspired students and staff to engage in the library.
‘Students are more willing to engage with the OPAC functionalities and library staff immediately found it easier to work with. Oliver has inspired staff and students who were previously not using the library, to actually use the catalogue to find resources. Younger students are also finding Oliver easier to use than the previous LMS.’
‘For a library catalogue to compete in a Google search world, it must work intuitively. Oliver has cataloguing, searching and display functions to approach this.’
St Hilda’s School recently experienced a backup failure when they attempted to retrieve their LMS information from the school’s local servers. To prevent this from happening again, the school decided to move to a Softlink Hosting Service. This has resulted in more reliable backups and improved system support.
‘We chose to use Softlink’s Hosting Services to overcome the problem of being unable to rely on a backup saved on the school’s server,’ said Ms Markus-Sandgren.
‘Our IT staff were also stretched for time and did not have the knowledge to handle specialist library technical problems.’
‘Using Softlink’s Hosting Services means we can deal with professionals who are experts in the program. It has also improves our engagement and knowledge of Oliver, which has increased its range and depth of functionality within the school. We now approach upgrades with confidence.’
According to Ms Markus-Sandgren, moving to a Softlink hosted environment resulted in “an increase in system speed and a smooth transition to Oliver v5.”
‘Softlink provided all the information and support we needed to go live, with minimal time and expertise required of our staff in both the library and IT. Questions and processes have been resolved quickly and insightfully,’ she said.
St Hilda’s Library Manager recommends Softlink Hosting Services to other Oliver users.
‘I recommend Softlink’s Hosting Services because from my experience, very few school IT or library staff can offer the kind of expertise or support and development that comes with having Oliver on a hosted environment,’ said Ms Markus-Sandgren.
‘We now look forward to where technology is taking libraries, because we know we can get the support we need, to undertake innovation and change.’
‘Softlink services both support and lead the way in solving the problems and changes of growth and development in the provision of better library services.’
‘Softlink now knows our library in a way that no one else does and provides support, advice and future thinking. This means that for the first time, our attempt to provide a better library catalogue and borrowing services is in partnership with library professionals. Softlink knows and loves libraries and continue to look for ways to improve the processes in our library.’
St Hilda’s School moved to Oliver in October 2009, and upgraded to Oliver v5 on a Softlink hosted server in early 2011.