Back in July 2016 I documented why and how a school library was enriching WorldCat records with Australian curriculum metadata. To recap, we do this because:

  1. The WorldCat record IS our bibliographic record,
  2. It allows the library to deliver on a key objective of our current strategic plan: “The Library supports the curriculum”,
  3. It provides curriculum metadata that enables the teachers and library staff to better identify resources that support learning within specific parts of the curriculum, and
  4. Because it is on WorldCat, and is accessible to other libraries; they can leverage of our work in the same way we would like to be able to leverage off the work of other libraries.

In short the enriched curriculum metadata within the catalogue supports enhanced levels of service delivery to our patron base. It also enables better reporting on the value the library delivers to the school, and in particular the value we deliver to key stakeholders such as teachers.

JasperJonesCoverThis post is a recap on the process as it relates to the book “Jasper Jones” because the library has just purchased two copies of the movie tie in edition published by Allen & Unwin.

In purchasing this book the library is:

Traditionally a library would purchase the copies and put it in the general senior school fiction collection. They might also purchase multiple copies for a class set collection. however, if we use this approach how do our systems understand that the book supports an important part of the Australian curriculum, and how can we capture this information in our reporting? How can our reports provide tangible and empirical evidence of the value the library delivers.

Clearly then a traditional approach to acquisitions and collection organisation is not going to allow us to deliver the value we increasingly need to deliver to our school. So, as with the other books in our collection that support an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures we did the following:

In the 658 – Index Term-Curriculum Objective field we added the following Australian education metadata that included the specific URIs and the Australian Curriculum Objective Term and Code Source Codes that have been registered by Education Services Australia with the Library of Congress. These URIs and source codes help future proof the record for a time when library systems will use linked data. Using the coding we developed with Education Services Australia we added:

We also added the Australian education vocabularies > Schools Online Thesaurus or ScOT heading Aboriginal peoples into the WorldCat bibliographic record. We did this because we did not source the ScOT heading directly from Education Services Australia. If Education Services Australia has catalogued this record for us, under our license agreement we would have to put the ScOT into the local bibliographic record that in WorldShare hangs of the WorldCat Record. In putting the ScOT heading in the WorldCat record we are not in breach of our license agreement, and for this record, the ScOT heading is available to any other library that uses Libraries Australia or WorldCat.

When adding this book to the collection we added it into our Indigenous Understanding Fiction Collection. Rearranging the collections, and mapping them back to the curriculum, has in a very physical and tangible way made these type of resources more visible and enhances the way the library can report on supporting curriculum outcomes as well as broader reading. So how did our patrons respond to this approach? Both copies had reserves on them when they were listed in the catalogue with an “on order” status so both copies were immediately on loan the minute they came in.

While Library of Congress LCSH, Education Services Australia SCIS, and any number of subject headings can imply the fact that this novel supports a particular part of the Australian curriculum, the acccp and acsl headings, coded into the 658 with URIs, makes this fact explicit to a human viewing the record, as well as explicit to another computer system interrogating the record.

While ScOT is the Australian school’s online thesaurus, on its own it does not provide specific details (in this instance the ScOT heading we used is “Aboriginal peoples” about the year level or cross curriculum alignment of this book.

The rules around coding this sort of explicit curriculum metadata is not hard to do especially as the Library of Congress provides clear instructions, nor is it time consuming if you use a library of preformatted entries. Why then do school libraries not do this, especially at a time when school libraries face budget cuts and increased scrutiny and oversight? Isn’t supporting the curriculum a key and strategic role for a school library?

Following is the enhancements we made to our manifestation of this book on OCN958084304.

658 Aboriginal peoples.$2scot
658 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures$bPeople$c$2acccp
658 Intercultural understanding$c$2acgc
658 Year 9$c$2acsl
658 Year 10$c$2acsl
658 Year 11$c$2acsl
658 Year 12$c$2acsl