Talking Oliver v5 in Brisbane!

#bestteachingpartnerever and I recently attended the inaugural Softlinks Conference in Brisbane, makes sense….. as that’s where they are based, as I found out! We could not function as a library without our OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) Oliver v5. It was a wonderful day of sharing ideas and learning about the capabilities of Oliver v5.

The venue was perfect and with over 160 delegates all keen to network, learn and share ideas I knew it was going to be a good day. After formal introductions, the keynote speaker, Kevin Hennah, shared his wealth of experience in shaping the face of libraries. He shared some fabulous images and Megan and I were able to take away some fresh ideas. Kevin’s take on imitating many great retail ideas from book shops is exciting and beneficial but we must not forget that, especially a junior library, is a place for children to enjoy and share their expressions and be involved in creating an atmosphere by decorating and making it their own.

As a believer in the creation of a Makerspace within a library I was happy to hear Kevin also felt Makerspaces had a place, where the community can access technologies and enjoy the wonderful book collections too!

A number of people from Softlink spoke about ways schools are supported and future developments. I particularly liked how they asked delegates for input through polling.

Throughout the day Softlink provided examples how Oliver v5 can be implemented into school libraries including some of the new functions like the analytical reporting module and how LearnPath can be used and is being used at Brighton Grammar School.

Megan and I had been asked to present a session on how we integrate Orbit into our library lessons. A case study of our school here. We shared ideas of using Orbit in ‘making’ and ‘creating’ in the Makerspace, searching for books to help solve problems arising from challenges like taking a laptop apart and identifying parts. Using fiction to highlight the story in a marble run or creating with squishy dough themes from a story. Megan shared how Orbit is used for creating booklists for Mother and Daughter Book club as well as for major events throughout the school year. I shared how Orbit is used in identifying books and authors using QR codes which the students generate for the shelves. Activities collecting data from Orbit to find the number of books on the shelf by an author or the number of pages in a book or the name of the publisher all give the students more depth into using Orbit.

Another fun activity is using famous and not so famous quotes from books and students find the book using Orbit Super Search, followed up by making a poster for the library in Canva or a collection of quotes in an Animoto.

Robots can often be seen navigating our library and what a great way to engage the students in programming a robot to find books or using a map of Australia to land the robot in a State and to then use Orbit to locate other books set in that location. Megan has provided time for all the junior students to personalise their pages in Orbit and to write book reviews, this is a fabulous way for students to promote books to their friends.

VR is really taking off in Education and what a fabulous way to immerse students into locations which will be in stories, for example, take the students to London using Google Street View or a VR app before reading Jacqueline Harvey’s new book, Kensy and Max or into the ocean before reading Fluke by Lesley Gibbes.

Megan and I had fun sharing ideas of how we use Orbit in our library.

One of the highlights was listening to Brad Tyrrell from Scotch College Perth. He is doing some amazing things in his library and uses Oliver v5 to keep his library relevant and to assist students and teachers in learning.

Overall the conference was a huge success and hopefully the first of many.

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!