e-books for FE at Digifest 2020

This year at Digifest, the librarians from Ashford College gave a ten minute lighting talk about how they promote e-books for FE to students and staff across their college.

“We love e-books for FE because the books are current and relevant, and the interface is user-friendly.”

Their strategy is divided into three key sections, and begins before the students begin their course. The library staff work hard to get the tutors invested in the service, requesting course outlines from tutors so that they can email links to relevant e-books.

The talk also shared barriers that librarians must overcome to engage students. Technology is a defining characteristic of Gen Z, but students still often lack study and information skills. Their reliance on Google means that they are often unsure how to access and find reliable information, so they put strategies in place to signpost students to e-book collections.

Librarians from Ashford College
Vicky and Katie from Ashford College

The creative librarians at Ashford College have creative ways of promoting the titles – including designing posters with URL links and QR codes for students to easily scan around college. The library staff also promote e-books alongside physical books, giving students multiple ways to access the information they need.

The librarians also have a strong social media presence, promoting titles on Twitter and Instagram.

The efforts of the dedicated library staff are paying off. The college have demonstrated a dramatic increase in usage of the service, rising from number 37 in the first quarterly report of 2018-2019 to number 17 in the first quarter of 2019-2020, and their user sessions have increased by an incredible 57%.

For more top tips and ideas for sharing best practice, you can download their brilliant presentation here.

What has worked well in your organisation to promote e-books for FE? Let us know in the comments below.

By Helen Foster

Open access support coordinator

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