Using the full functionality of your Integrated Library System (ILS)

Using OPAC in the library.
​Find out how to get the most out of your Integrated Library System (ILS). See how your ILS supports teaching and learning in your school, as well as managing the circulation of your resources.​
  • How your ILS supports teaching and learning

    Using your Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)

    Your library's OPAC gives online access to physical and digital resources, such as:

    • books and journals
    • the library website, blog and wiki
    • databases, electronic resources and eBooks
    • book lists, competitions and library news.

    Integrating your OPAC with other online access

    Your school's ILS should connect to online systems. For example, if you have a library website there should be a link from the website to your OPAC and vice versa. The OPAC should also link to your school's Learning Management System (LMS), such as Moodle. It's ideal if students can search the OPAC directly from the LMS using an embedded search box.

    Training for your OPAC

    Offer training for staff and students so they know how to search the OPAC effectively. Initial training could include how to:

    • do a basic search
    • reserve resources
    • check their loans and overdues.

    Using reports and statistics

    Your ILS provides statistics that can support teaching and learning.

    Use statistics from the ILS to let teaching staff know about their students’ reading profiles. Borrower history reports could help teachers support students who aren't using the library.

    You can use OPAC search reports to provide evidence of the types of searches students are doing. These can help you identify gaps in your collection and your learners' understanding of searching.

  • How your ILS supports teaching and learning

    Using your Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)

    Your library's OPAC gives online access to physical and digital resources, such as:

    • books and journals
    • the library website, blog and wiki
    • databases, electronic resources and eBooks
    • book lists, competitions and library news.

    Integrating your OPAC with other online access

    Your school's ILS should connect to online systems. For example, if you have a library website there should be a link from the website to your OPAC and vice versa. The OPAC should also link to your school's Learning Management System (LMS), such as Moodle. It's ideal if students can search the OPAC directly from the LMS using an embedded search box.

    Training for your OPAC

    Offer training for staff and students so they know how to search the OPAC effectively. Initial training could include how to:

    • do a basic search
    • reserve resources
    • check their loans and overdues.

    Using reports and statistics

    Your ILS provides statistics that can support teaching and learning.

    Use statistics from the ILS to let teaching staff know about their students’ reading profiles. Borrower history reports could help teachers support students who aren't using the library.

    You can use OPAC search reports to provide evidence of the types of searches students are doing. These can help you identify gaps in your collection and your learners' understanding of searching.

  • How your ILS supports collection development

    Your ILS can generate reports including collection usage, subject reports and missing items. These reports can inform your purchasing decisions by identifying:

    • the most popular authors and titles
    • any gaps in subjects in the collection
    • the status of resources — lost, current or under repair
    • type of resources that are being used frequently, such as reference, sophisticated picture books or non- fiction.

    The ILS also generates reports for your stocktake.

    Stocktaking guide

  • How your ILS supports collection development

    Your ILS can generate reports including collection usage, subject reports and missing items. These reports can inform your purchasing decisions by identifying:

    • the most popular authors and titles
    • any gaps in subjects in the collection
    • the status of resources — lost, current or under repair
    • type of resources that are being used frequently, such as reference, sophisticated picture books or non- fiction.

    The ILS also generates reports for your stocktake.

    Stocktaking guide

  • Advocating for your library

    Use system reports to support your advocacy for your library. You can use evidence such as:

    • a comparison of borrowing patterns for different year levels
    • the number of student book reviews added to the catalogue
    • how student suggestions are reflected in new titles added to the collection.
  • Advocating for your library

    Use system reports to support your advocacy for your library. You can use evidence such as:

    • a comparison of borrowing patterns for different year levels
    • the number of student book reviews added to the catalogue
    • how student suggestions are reflected in new titles added to the collection.
  • Setting up your ILS

    Set up your system to meet your requirements — this is often called ‘configuration’.

    For example, you could:

    • include circulation requirements such as defining user groups, borrowing limits and holiday issuing dates
    • configure your search so that vital information is appearing on the first page of results — test this by searching as if you're a student, checking that you can see clearly where an item is located in the collection
    • make sure it does an automatic backup every day — check with your system vendor for instructions and advice about setting up your ILS backups.
  • Setting up your ILS

    Set up your system to meet your requirements — this is often called ‘configuration’.

    For example, you could:

    • include circulation requirements such as defining user groups, borrowing limits and holiday issuing dates
    • configure your search so that vital information is appearing on the first page of results — test this by searching as if you're a student, checking that you can see clearly where an item is located in the collection
    • make sure it does an automatic backup every day — check with your system vendor for instructions and advice about setting up your ILS backups.
  • Getting support and training

    There are several ways you can get support and training in using your ILS.

    • Use your ILS vendor's helpdesk to support what you want to do with your system. Ask questions and keep a note of responses so you can document them in your school library manual.
    • Check your system vendor’s website for training videos and help forums.
    • Read the user manual — make sure you know how to access it. Report any new instructions that you need to your system vendor so they can include them in the next version of the manual.
    • Set up training sessions. If you're in the process of purchasing a new system or changing from one system to another, include training costs in your budget.
    • Attend all regional training sessions run by your provider. These are essential for keeping up with new versions.
    • Sign up for user groups, user lists, blogs and any other relevant communication to ensure you are up-to-date with the system.
    • Find other people who use the same system in your area. Collaborate and take turns to share your best tips and tricks. If there's not a local user group in your area, start one.
  • Getting support and training

    There are several ways you can get support and training in using your ILS.

    • Use your ILS vendor's helpdesk to support what you want to do with your system. Ask questions and keep a note of responses so you can document them in your school library manual.
    • Check your system vendor’s website for training videos and help forums.
    • Read the user manual — make sure you know how to access it. Report any new instructions that you need to your system vendor so they can include them in the next version of the manual.
    • Set up training sessions. If you're in the process of purchasing a new system or changing from one system to another, include training costs in your budget.
    • Attend all regional training sessions run by your provider. These are essential for keeping up with new versions.
    • Sign up for user groups, user lists, blogs and any other relevant communication to ensure you are up-to-date with the system.
    • Find other people who use the same system in your area. Collaborate and take turns to share your best tips and tricks. If there's not a local user group in your area, start one.

Stocktaking guide