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St Michael’s College Secondary Campus Case Study

Library staff have been unanimous in identifying conversion to Oliver v5 as a positive development for both student learning and library management.

Maria Pepe-Micholos, Past Teacher Librarian
At a Glance
Chosen Solution
Flexible Options
Core Benefits to Users
  • Dramatic increase in student catalogue searches
  • Greater use of digital resources including databases and Clickview videos
  • Ability for other College departments to manage resources such as photography equipment and music resources
Supported Users
  • 1,250 students + 160 staff
Library Staff
  • FTE of 5

About St Michael’s College

St Michael’s College in Adelaide is an R-12 school founded by the De La Salle Brothers in 1954. Located on two separate campuses, approximately 8 kilometres apart - the Primary Campus at Beverley currently caters for R-7 and the Secondary Campus at Henley Beach
caters for 8-12.

The College has undergone significant growth since 2008 when enrolment to Year 8 was opened to girls. By 2012, the Secondary Campus was fully co-educational and the current enrolment is approximately 1,250 students with about 160 staff.

St Michael’s College is about to embark on a new expansion plan which will see Year 7 students move from the Primary Campus to the Secondary Campus in 2018. It is anticipated that by 2019 the enrolments at the Secondary Campus will be close to 1,500 students.

St Michael’s College Resource Centres

Past Teacher Librarian Maria Pepe-Micholos and Past Librarian Peter O’Toole head up the Secondary Campus’ Resource Centre and are supported by a team of library assistants.

In a guest blog for Softlink, Maria and Peter spoke about how the Resource Centre is adapting to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and changing school community through close collaboration with the wider school community. To read more visit the blog.

“Technology has certainly been a major force in our approach to learning, providing new ways of finding information as well as reading for pleasure," said Maria.

St Michael’s College Resource Centre

Choosing Oliver v5

In 2014 both of the College’s Resource Centres collaborated on an extensive research project to select a new library management system that would support their evolving school community.

Peter said that they were impressed with the demonstration of Oliver v5’s features and consequently visited a number of schools using the system.

“The positive reviews we received from the users we visited, coupled with an understanding that Softlink’s large, Australian user-base would ensure ongoing, relevant development and support, guided our choice of Oliver v5."

Benefits of Oliver v5

The benefits of Oliver v5 were quickly realised.

“The first immediate and obvious change after launching Oliver v5, was a dramatic increase in students searching the catalogue. This change has been ongoing and is undoubtedly in response to searches being more successful and a search screen that is visually engaging because of its design. Syndetics also enabled a far more comprehensive display of cover images and further information. This engagement is now further enhanced with the tiled presentation of search results."

Peter added that the library offers 24/7 access to an expanding range of digital resources, including the Gale Virtual Reference Library, 4 EBSCO databases, WebLinks and Issues in Society. Following the introduction of Oliver v5’s Federated Search in 2016 the use of these valuable resources has substantially improved.

“The Federated Search has been very effective in further encouraging consultation of a wider range of resources - books, online encyclopedia, databases and in particular, Clickview. Our Audio Visual Department holds an extensive video collection – notably a steadily growing Clickview resource, (currently 6,500 programs).

We have been working closely with teachers to provide support for optimising the potential of Clickview by incorporating it in the Oliver v5 Federated Search, and keeping them up to date with new developments and possibilities such as Flip lessons, editing and creating interactive lessons."

St Michael's library

OverDrive eBooks were also integrated with Oliver v5 in 2016, and Maria views them as a supplement to the Resource Centre’s physical collection.

“OverDrive was launched in 2016 and has proven to be a clear preference for many students, whilst a significant number remain committed to the hard copy – the demand proving that an almost parallel development of physical and digital fiction resources is warranted.

The library’s physical collection also continues to grow and now includes more than 16,000 non-fiction books, 8,000 fiction, and 10,000 English class set books. We continue to subscribe to about 50 periodicals, but although this includes a number of academic journals, because of the streamlined accessibility of databases, there is now a greater emphasis on recreational reading magazine subscriptions."

Oliver v5’s versatility and straight-forward administration tools has meant that it is not just the Resource Centre who is taking advantage of the system.

“Other departments such as Photography, Drama and Music have also recognised the potential of Oliver v5 and are using it to manage and circulate department based equipment and books," said Peter.

Several years after making the change to Oliver v5, Maria and Peter are still excited to explore new ways of using the system.

“Library staff have been unanimous in identifying conversion to Oliver v5 as a positive development for both student learning and library management and this experience has inspired an eagerness to investigate and use new features such as Smart Cataloguing and student reviews.

Our experience with Softlink over the last few years has confirmed why we chose Oliver v5. The conversion process was smooth, and support has been prompt and thorough. Online training, notably in stocktaking, has been expertly delivered and proven very useful. Importantly, the anticipated ongoing development has been realised – including a much-appreciated attention to detail."

Read more about Federated Search