Make your library sexy

Who went?

Janet Ousby, librarian at Roundhay Technology College, Leeds.

What was it?

A course by the School Library Association about how secondary schools can benefit from the growth of e-publishing.

What did it do?

There was advice on using the internet as a resource - everything from blogs to Wikipedia. We also looked at making the most of books and journals that are published electronically.

Why go?

As a librarian you look to be as helpful as possible to staff and pupils.

E-publishing is a growing trend, and I wanted to tap into that. And the people running the course were experts in the field.

Message, motto or mantra?

School libraries can be sexy.

Handouts or hands-on?

It was practical because we all had access to a computer. There were handouts and booklets to take away. I also thought the whole day was well paced and great fun.

Something I liked I went on the course feeling daunted and confused, but came away feeling confident and clear-minded.

Something I learned Most people use search engines such as Google when they're looking for information. It's better to use a portal or gateway such as Intute, because it guides you to useful sites and filters out rubbish.

Has it made a difference?

It will save us money. For the price of two or three textbooks I can buy something published electronically, which can be accessed by everyone, rather than people having to wait their turn.

The verdict?

It did what it said on the tin, and the course leaders were excellent.

Thoroughly recommended


The School Library Association runs a range of courses for both primary and secondary schools. They cost pound;160 or pound;115 for members. Visit for more information.

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