e-books for FE Newsletter

e-books for FE May 2021 newsletter

Welcome to the May 2021 issue of our e-books for FE newsletter.

E-book usage in April usually takes a dip compared to previous months, no doubt due to the holidays, and last month was no exception. However, usage was 45% up on April 2020, reflecting the digital resource boom of this academic year.

In addition, we are proud to announce a notable milestone: e-book user sessions for this academic year have now exceeded one million (1,010,415), a figure never previously reached – and there are still three months to go! We would like to thank all LRC and library staff for their part in this achievement, and for promoting Jisc resources to students and staff.

Purchasing round

The e-books for FE Focus Group convened via Zoom on Monday 26 April, along with Pete Collins and Andrew Jackson from the FE & Skills team, to discuss the titles on offer from ProQuest (who manage titles from Hodder, Collins, Bloomsbury, Leckie & Leckie, Taylor & Francis, Jessica Kingsley, Sage) and Pearson (who we deal with independently). This is the first year we have had titles on offer from Leckie and Jessica Kingsley, the latter in response to suggestions from library staff over the past year.

There were 793 titles on offer in the ProQuest list, and 96 titles on offer in the Pearson list. Prior to the meeting, members of the Focus Group had the mighty task of marking each title with a Yes, No, or Maybe. The meeting discussions focused mainly on those titles with 40-60% Yes votes, with the top 40% considered ‘safe bets’ for consideration. We scanned those with the least votes to make sure there were no specialist / nation-specific titles worth considering.

In addition, we have a number of renewals of current titles in mind, i.e. those which have had significantly high usage over the past two years.

It was a productive three hours, including some interactive fun and games on Miro: A huge thanks to Focus Group members for their input and expertise!

Following that meeting a longlist has been created, including the consensus Top titles and the worthy middle-tier titles, and it is now down to Pete and Andrew to match the available budget to a final list. As ever, this restriction will necessitate difficult choices, but we will do our best. For reference, in last year’s purchasing round we purchased 83 titles, of which 26 were renewals of existing subscriptions.


Library and teaching staff in HE have recently started a campaign to investigate the pricing of e-books in the academic sector, with a web site here:

This will be of equal interest to FE librarians who are facing the same budgetary challenges. The campaign has now set up a Jiscmail discussion list for e-book pricing issues, which you can join here:

The hashtag #ebookSOS is being used on Twitter in order to highlight the campaign and related issues.

Top 20 users in April 2021

Well done to all organisations who reached a spot in the top 20.

Rank Organisation User sessions
1 New City College London 2637
2 LTE Group 2457
3 HCUC – Harrow College & Uxbridge College 2446
4 Varndean College 1659
5 South Thames College 1566
6 Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College 1551
7 West Nottinghamshire College 1341
8 York College 1196
9 Richard Huish College 1192
10 Middlesbrough College 1182
11 West College Scotland 1175
12 Newham Sixth Form College 1157
13 Trafford College Group 1153
14 Grŵp Llandrillo Menai 1124
15 Truro and Penwith College 1080
16 The WKCIC Group 1040
17 Leicester College 1015
18 Oaklands College 1008
19 Bradford College 961
20 Hereford Sixth Form College 904

Mergers: If your organisation has recently merged with another, ProQuest may not have the most current merger information and your merger may not be reflected in the usage data. Please check with ProQuest and request that they update your account to reflect the merger. Their e-book support contact address is:

Top 20 titles in April 2021

Rank Title User sessions
1 CACHE Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care 7149
2 CACHE Level 3 Child Care and Education : Early Years Educator 6178
3 BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care Student Book 1 4241
4 BTEC Nationals Business Student Book 1 : For the 2016 specifications 3207
5 CACHE Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner 2871
6 BTEC Nationals Applied Science Student Book 1 2553
7 CACHE Level 2 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care 2482
8 BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care Student Book 2 : For the 2016 specifications 2135
9 BTEC Level 3 National Health and Social Care: Student Book 1 1617
10 BTEC Level 3 National Health and Social Care: Student Book 2 1568
11 Psychology: the Science of Mind and Behaviour (8th edition) 1527
12 BTEC Nationals Business Student Book 2 : For the 2016 specifications 1517
13 AQA A Level Biology (Year 1 and Year 2) 1420
14 Anatomy and Physiology (5th edition) 1249
15 BTEC Level 3 Nationals Applied Science Student Book 2 1215
16 AQA A-level Psychology Book 1 : For A-level Year 1 and AS 1201
17 BTEC National Computing Student Book 1110
18 OCR Sociology for A Level 1102
19 AQA A-level Sociology for A-level Year 1 and AS : Book 1 1023
20 BTEC Level 3 National Public Services Student Book 2 1018

Support queries


Follow us on Twitter:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *