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St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar Schools Case Study

Oliver v5 is one of the best library systems I have used and it is also affordable.

Nicola Farmer, Head of Library Services
At a Glance
Chosen Solution
Flexible Options
Key Objectives

Create a unified library
experience across three campuses

Core Benefits To Users

Improved student engagement

Number of Libraries


Supported Users

1500 Students + 150 Staff

About St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar Schools

Established in Toorak in 1926 with just 18 pupils, the independent, non-denominational St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar Schools have grown into a thriving two campus environment with almost 1,500 students, now re-located to the outer Melbourne suburbs of Berwick and Officer.

St Margaret’s Junior School at Berwick is co-educational from Pre-Prep to Year 4. Single gender education commences in Year 5 with boys moving to the Berwick Grammar School campus in nearby Officer which was opened in 2009. Girls remain at the Junior School for Years 5 and 6 before transitioning to St Margaret’s Senior School in Year 7.

Improving interlibrary services

Senior library

The St Margaret’s Junior and Senior Schools and the Berwick Grammar School each have their own libraries. Head of Library Services at St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar Schools, Nicola Farmer said that in 2013 the Schools embarked on a project to digitally unite the three libraries in order to improve interlibrary services.

“The schools wanted to offer a library experience that allowed staff and students to access all three libraries at the same time, to share resources. We have 90 year old historical resources in the Senior School’s library collection and we wanted the younger students to be able to tap into that, along with our more modern materials."

To achieve this outcome, Nicola said that the schools needed a contemporary library management solution that included comprehensive tools to support the operations of multi-campus schools.

The schools determined that Softlink’s range of services and the Oliver v5 solution were the right fit for the project.

“All of our students need simultaneous access to all three libraries. Oliver v5 has fantastic functionality that makes it easy for our students to borrow the resources they need from our different campus libraries. It also sends an email to all three campus libraries simultaneously so we can search the entire database for requests at the same time."

Oliver v5 Cloud Hosting

Australia story country

Because the schools also wanted to safeguard their library solution with daily offsite backups, they selected Softlink’s Oliver Cloud Hosting services as part of their implementation.

The Oliver Cloud Hosting service has reduced the IT administration related to the library management system for the schools, with Softlink’s technical services team responsible for all ongoing monitoring and maintenance requirements, including regular updates to the system.

Other benefits of Oliver v5

Nicola said that Oliver v5 has helped the school libraries to improve student engagement.

“The Google preview and student book review options in Oliver v5 have been brilliant for engaging the students in reading. It has given them ownership of the system because they can see their name, and their friend’s names, against the reviews."

Oliver v5 has also assisted the school libraries in maintaining a professional online image.

“Oliver v5 provided the school libraries with a modern interface that is much more user friendly. We have been able to brand Oliver v5 with our school logos and we regularly add events and photos to the homepage. Being able to do that ourselves, whenever we want, is a real plus."

Nicola complimented the strong customer service provided by Softlink.

“Oliver v5 is one of the best library systems I have used and it is also affordable. I have found Softlink’s support to be very good and the changes made in updates make sense from a library operations point of view. Softlink actually listen to what users want and are open to suggestions that improve the system."

Read more about Oliver v5’s Cloud Hosted solution