School librarian in lights

Join a great community of users

Users iconWe have supplied library software to school librarians for nearly thirty years. During that time Heritage Cirqa users have grown into a sizable and lively community. We work closely with our community of users to ensure that the system stays relevant against an ever-changing education environment

Meet some of our users

Trinity School

Trinity school crestTrinity School (Croydon) is a British independent boys' day school with a co-educational Sixth Form, located in Shirley Park, Croydon. They have used Heritage Cirqa, hosted by IS Oxford, since 2015, having previously used Eclipse, and currently have over 26,000 titles and around 1,400 borrowers. Their online catalogue can be viewed here. We spoke to their librarian, Kate Parlain.

Q. What range of media do you hold in your library? Is it all catalogued on Heritage Cirqa?
A. We have books, DVDs, ebooks and journals. We also record useful websites, but rather than catalogue them independently we link them to book records.

Q. Do you currently integrate Heritage Cirqa with any other systems in your institution?
A. We have a link to Heritage Online from our VLE Firefly. I also download records from Browns Books for Students. I have links to JSTOR and Encylopaedia Britannica on the catalogue/OPAC front page.

Q. Kate ParlainWhat are your favourite features in Heritage Cirqa and Heritage Online?
A. The Enquiry Groups set up for Lower School, GCSE, Sixth Form and Staff mean that I can tailor the OPAC and resources to specific needs and ages.

Fortnightly SDI alerts (current awareness) facility of new books to all staff raises the profile of the library which enhances the proactive relationship between myself and the teaching staff.

The ability to link catalogue records together as related items or as sequels is particularly useful – it creates a link on the OPAC directly to other accessions, without the user searching again.

I use the events scheduler wherever possible. It saves so much time, knowing that emails go out to pupils and staff automatically. I notify readers when their books are due back so they can be renewed or returns; process overdue letters and reminders and reservation notifications.

I use the “in Library usage” on a monthly basis to complement my borrowing figures. This means I can report more accurately the overall usage of the library. Reading in the library particularly in formal English “reading” sessions can now be counted.

Q. Trinity School LibraryDo you use any of the tools in Heritage Online to promote your library?
A. I have reading lists for various age groups linked to the Enquiry Groups and send SDI alerts to staff. I have a link to Encyclopaedia Britannica and JSTOR as well as a few “search hints” and the occasional piece of library news.

Q. How do you communicate with your users? What kind of notices do you send them?
A. I send pre-overdues (three days before the items are due back) and three different overdue letters to students. Staff just get a reminder. New book acquisitions are sent to staff for their relevant curriculum areas.

Q. Are you aware of IS Oxford’s approach to business practice? Do you notice a difference between the service we provide when compared with other suppliers you encounter?
A. You are lovely!

Q. What do you think of our Support Service?
A. Your support services are wonderful; it is a very responsive service which I have not always found with other suppliers.

Q. What do you think of the Training we provide?
A. I am impressed with the quality and quantity. I have been to training sessions in Oxford and used the training over the phone. I must book another session. The online training via the Flagship programme was excellent.

Q. Would you recommend Heritage Cirqa to other libraries?
A. Yes definitely. I think it is fabulous. I will challenge myself to learn more about the reports function. I am aware that there is a vast range of reports that the system can create and I am only using a very small fraction of its potential.

Our school combines an 'intellectually challenging academic environment with outstanding pastoral care' (a comment from our recent survey of parents). In keeping with our school aim: 'The rigorous pursuit of excellence balanced by compassionate concern for individuals'. Heritage Cirqa copes with the demands of our users. I researched thoroughly library management systems before deciding on Heritage Cirqa and I am delighted it has lived up to my expectations.

Trinity School (Croydon) have been using Heritage Cirqa since 2015 and currently have four additional full access licences, Heritage Online (Large Schools), the Fines Module, MARC Import Module, Quickcat Online Module and the Reader Import Module.

Our users vary across the whole secondary educational spectrum, in the public and private sectors, They range from the smaller rural schools to large, inner city comprehensives, academies and 6th form colleges

Gosforth Academy

Gosforth Academy crestGosforth Academy is an English secondary school in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. As well as having a sixth form department it is a specialist Language College. They have used Heritage Cirqa, hosted by IS Oxford, since May 2017, having previously used two separate MLS Eclipse systems. You can visit both the senior school catalogueand the Junior school catalogue to see how they use Heritage Cirqa as a single hosted system.

They now have a single Heritage Cirqa with two distinct datasets and two separate Heritage Onlines, one for the Senior School and one for the Junior School. They currently have over 24,000 titles and around 2,000 borrowers. We spoke to their librarian, Christian Wheeldon.

Q.What range of media do you hold in your library? Is it all catalogued on Heritage Cirqa?
A.We have books, DVDs, CDs and journals.

Q.Do you currently integrate Heritage Cirqa with any other systems in your institution?
A.We have a link to Heritage Online from Frog. When students click on this they are automatically logged in to their personal Heritage Online account. This is possible because we have included their computer log-in details on their Reader records in Heritage Cirqa. Our students have all now been sent an in house guide about how to access their Heritage Online account and what it can offer them.

Q.Christian WheeldonWhat are your favourite features in Heritage Cirqa and Heritage Online?
A.We like the clear, uncluttered interface, the flexible and exhaustive reporting facilities, having a test database to practice things in and the circulation form. WIth the latter it is really handy to have everything you need at your fingertips in the one screen.

Q.How do you communicate with your users? What kind of notices do you send them?
A.We send reminder letters to students via registers and then slightly later on we send overdue letters home to parents.

Q.What do you think of our Support Service?
A.I tend to log requests for help. Some are solved quickly (great) and with others I have to dig a bit deeper to get the solution I require.

The Cousins library at Gosforth School Q.What do you think of the Training we provide?
A.It was good but we had to pack a lot into a short space of time due to our own time constraints. It wasn't really an IS Oxford issue, but it did get a bit stressful!

Q.Would you recommend Heritage Cirqa to other libraries?
A.Absolutely, yes.

Q.Do you have any other comments you would like to make about IS Oxford or Heritage Cirqa?
A.As a team we have been really pleased with Heritage Cirqa so far. Everybody seems to be picking it up relatively quickly. I think it's a pretty intuitive piece of software and unlike our previous system it is very solid. Once we have got past most of the almost inevitable stresses of moving over everybody is happy, which is great.

Gosforth Academy have been using Heritage Cirqa since 2017 and currently have four additional full access licences, two Heritage Onlines, the Reader Import Module and the MyCirqa app.

Heritage User Group

The Heritage User Group (HUG) is a lively and proactive gathering of librarians that meets twice yearly. HUG is completely independent of us, but we attend as guests and have a good working relationship with the group; usually contributing to the presentation sections and being available to answer questions and talk to people afterwards.

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