Welcome to the VLEBooksFirstTimers WikiaEdit

This is a Wikia for sharing experiences, ideas, successes and failures when starting to use the Brown's VLE Books EBook Platform.

Starting OutEdit

How have you found the experience of setting up VLE Books?

What are you hoping to get out of VLE Books?

What purchase options are you using? Credit? Single Purchase? Mix? Why?


What stock are you buying? Fiction? Non-Fiction?

I started off with non-fiction aimed at my Sixth Form 18 months ago. I am now widening the stock to include Fiction for Year 7 upwards - Caroline, Eltham College

Have tried to stock a bit of everything to see what goes out. I left the option for all available books to be visible so that people can recommend for purchase. Still find choice of content a bit limited and am keenly awaiting the audiobook service that was originally promised. - Pat, St Peter's

I'm looking at non-fiction, mostly for post-16 and top end of KS4. I'm hoping that much of our e-stock will be textbooks and wider reading, particularly stretch stuff for our most-able students. I'm not sure about fiction yet but I might use it for book requests where I want fast turn-around and may give students the option of print or electronic when they fill in book request slips - Darren, Dixons Allerton


I have included textbooks though they aren't used as much as they could be yet. - Caroline, Eltham College

I have flagged up textbooks to staff where they exist, but they aren't particularly enthusiastic. Think network issues may be the reason. - Pat, St Peter's

I'd love all our textbooks (esp. for Post-16) to move over to electronic but availability looks patchy particularly with some exam boards. In some cases only the older specifications or editions are available (publishers double-dipping methinks) which is frustrating. Staff I've talked to are really keen to get an electronic version of their textbooks available, particularly as many are buying large numbers of copies currently and the electronic edition with credit-based purchase will save them a lot of money. I'll be doing the same for set-texts wherever available in English Lang & Lit - Darren, Dixons Allerton.

Wider Reading?

I have included books for wider reading which are on my Oxbridge list. I have preferred the eBooks over the physical books so that pupils can read them at home too - Caroline, Eltham College

Like Caroline I'm looking at wider reading and stretch for our most able students and think eBooks are going to really facilitate this - particularly as numerous students can access the same text simultaneously (using credit-system). I've got a large number of reading lists so I'm hoping I can get as many of these texts available electronically as I often get a reservations queue for some titles when the lists are publicised. I'm going to look at wider reading for KS4 on a subject-by-subject basis once I've established which teachers are using/promoting them well and where there is a demand. Darren - Dixons Allerton

Key Stages?

Mostly KS5 for me with some top-end KS4. I might look at specific titles for younger students if there's teacher demand, possibly for set-texts. Darren - Dixons Allerton


What access options are you planning to use? VLE? Library Catalogue?

We don't have a VLE, so my link is behind a password protected page on the school website, where all of my Virtual Library logins are - Caroline, Eltham College I use Eclipse, so all of my eBooks are catalogued here - Caroline, Eltham College

Our link is in Moodle and I get everyone to use their school logons and passwords( after the initial change of password) and have downloaded the records for editing into Oliver- Pat, St Peter's

I'm using our Frog VLE mostly - really waiting for full integration between VLE Books > Frog so we have real single-sign on. Will catalogue all the eBooks on Eclipse too. I'm using the direct URL links to titles on our electronic reading lists (might also create tinyurls of these for paper copies if this works). I'd like to try and set up a federated search to search across all our electronic platforms and print collection but am struggling to find a product to do this which is cost-effective. Darren - Dixons Allerton

How are you managing logins, usernames, passwords etc?

Browns are very good at sorting this out, just email the list off SIMS to them and it will be done very quickly. Everything else is managed from your Browns account, adding individual teachers etc. Pupils are asked to change their own passwords on first login anyway - Caroline, Eltham College

Am pretty confident about managing this and glad you say Browns are good at supporting this Caroline! I really want single-sign on to get onto the platform so students won't have an extra password to remember (particularly if they change their network password). I'm looking into EZProxy which should avoid them having to log in at all but need to work out the technical side first. Darren - Dixons Allerton


How will you be promoting your ebook collection? With staff? With students?

Have arranged demos with all year groups and staff and have help documents in Moodle plus posters. Take-up is not as rapid as I would have liked, but I think schools who have iPads and preloaded apps would fare better. Also I have discovered that once people realise that the set up with Adobe digital editions and so on will enable use of public libraries' Overdrive service too it seems to make it all worth the effort. - Pat, St Peter's
Promoting ebooks

I use laminated sheets to place in the shelves where the 'real' copy would be, reminding pupils that there is a book on the subject they are looking for in the eLibrary. I only do this for non-fiction. This is the information on the sheet I provide for them. It is created using a powerpoint template, and all the slides are printed off into a folder for each of the subjects represented for the HOD to have. It helps make the invisible, visible. - Caroline, Eltham College

Information LiteracyEdit

How are you teaching students/staff to use the platform?

In person? Online Support?

I have been showing pupils how to use the platform as a class for induction, but then I also usually end up doing one to one support with the students (and teachers) as well. I constantly send out emails reminding them of the eresources any time they are studying a topic I have particularly stocked in the eLibrary, ie. Gothic Fiction. I also have made a very easy step by step how to guide which is on the login page for them to follow and download, Browns do a good one as well (but mine is simpler!) -Caroline, Eltham College

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