="Title" content="Issues and challenges of a small library">

Friday, March 24, 2006

Skilling Work Colleagues

On the job training
Our literacy coordinator and learning support teacher are instigating an across the school language program, and with this they have purchased quite a number of books to support the program and class reading.

They were good enough to buy contact to replenish our supplies, and our budget will not stretch to any incidentals and unplanned for items. Before these books could be processed I needed to know how they would be used in the classroom and how often teachers would need to access them and for how long. Would they be allocated to a class for a whole year, or would teachers use them with any year level on multiple occasions throughout the year? After meeting with them it was decided they would be stored in their levels as one collection with the other reading materials. Teachers would take what they needed to support teaching and return after use.

Each of these books is small (about 10 pages), but the size of an object does not lessen its processing time. Each item would have to be individually catalogued and bar-coded as they would not be used as whole sets. It was decided not to fully contact each one, as it is a time consuming task and teachers wanted to use them as soon as possible, so contact would only go over the barcode areas. The reading collection books are not given Dewy classifications or spine labels and in the past if they were on SCIS, the cataloguing details were just accepted whether they were fiction or non fiction. They are differentiated from the main collection by a dot in the top right hand corner of the book. These particular books were not on SCIS so had to be manually catalogued. My aid is confident to use SCIS downloads and leave me to edit any items afterwards, but the individual cataloguing she felt was beyond her. There were too many items for me to do in a short timeframe, so it was time she learnt how to do some basic cataloguing with my assistance. Together we catalogued one item, and luckily they are all by the same author and publisher, so after doing one item she will be able to copy this cataloguing data to create the rest of the records. The replicate tool was something she was already familiar with so the multiple items will be no problem. We added a couple of creative subject headings in anticipation of the queries the program managers are likely to ask of us in the future. The reading collection does not have a separate GMD, such as reading text, but it does have a location of Reading Resources so it is possible to search the collection by location to find the items if necessary. They could also be searched by series, but there are 5 different series names used in this reading set. We could search by Author, but the author of these books has also written other titles. By far the easiest search to perform and one that all users are able to do is by subject heading. We added 2 new subject headings to help us in the future searches of all the titles in this reading set. This way they can be found simply on the OPAC with no administrator privileges to perform the search.

Releasing the new titles
During lessons with the students I showed them the new titles we had processed; most of these had come from Australian Standing Orders. Judging from the teacher and student reaction it was a good move. The picture books were of high quality and the narratives were of varying levels so there was something of interest for all. They were very enthusiastic to borrow and browse the new titles.

More manual processing
I am still making my way through the uncatalogued items - most of these are kits and bits and pieces that have come astray from kits and no one seems to know where they belong. Most of the bits need repackaging and taking out of the old and broken hang up bags. I am repacking where possible using clear document wallets so I can store them on the Teacher Reference shelves and they will be found and used. This is a bit of a challenge and is very time consuming. I am thinking through ideas at the moment about how to present the Teacher Reference materials better and make it easier to find and so see it used more. There will be more about this as I come up with solutions.


Post a Comment

<< Home