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Frequently asked questions about the Education Library Service

Book exchange service - Gold and Silver service

How is the number of books I can exchange each year calculated?

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The exchange number is re-calculated each year. It is based on pupil numbers as recorded in the PLAS return each January.  

Is the mobile library visit the only way I can exchange books?

No, you have two other options. You can visit our base in Threemilestone or we can select books on your behalf and deliver to the school by a member of staff.

Why should I purchase books via this scheme?

The scheme offers up to a 30% discount although there is a charge of 40p per book for servicing – book jacket and Dewey notation where appropriate, dates label and bar code. Books purchased via the scheme may be exchanged at a later date on a one-for-one basis as part of the school’s annual book exchange.

Can I order any books I like?

Yes, but we will alert you to any titles that we think are not appropriate for a primary school library and, if you still decide to order, will not add ELS servicing so that the books cannot be exchanged at a later date.  It is also not cost efficient to order reading scheme material through this scheme.

Do you book band?

No, ELS books are not banded nor do we have the facilities to band books however we can provide lists of library books in print for a specific book band.  We provide this service in conjunction with our library supplier.  Many of these will be on our shelves and the remainder are available for purchase through the Book Purchase Scheme.

Do you only sell books?

No we also sell a selection of soft toys and acrylic boxes for displaying paperback novels.

How do I order boxes?

You can order boxes online. To complete you need to know your school’s secretary’s email address and the last four numbers of your school’s LA number.  You may order up to one year in advance.  The system will only let you order a box if there is one available for the term requested.

Can I order as many boxes as I like?

Yes for Gold membership. For the other levels each school has a limit based on number of pupils on roll.  You can keep ordering until you reach the limit.

What are “Pick and Mix” boxes?

There are project (pink) boxes on most topics but there are occasions when your topic is not covered. You can request a Pick and Mix box on one or more topics and we will endeavour to provide up to 20 books. We do limit Pick and Mix to one box per school.  For more information contact Education Library Service on (01872) 323456.

Why must I order on-line by the last day of term?

We need to close the system on the last day of term to give our courier time to prepare the delivery schedules and us time to print labels and address all the boxes. This is completed during the last few days of the holiday so that our courier can start delivering boxes as soon as all schools are open.

And if I am too late to order on-line?

Once term starts you are welcome to visit Threemilestone and select any boxes that have not been ordered. You will need to return these boxes yourself before the end of term.

Why don’t you provide a booklist in the project boxes?

Although the boxes are loaned as a unit the contents do change as new titles are published. To print a new list each time a box is loaned would be extremely time consuming and therefore expensive. We did trial booklists in the fiction boxes but after several loan periods it was obvious that providing a booklist did not help borrowers to find and return all the books. 

An analysis of returns demonstrated that returned boxes with a list were no more likely to be returned complete than those without a list.

We do however provide a detailed list of the contents of the artefact boxes and where possible label the individual items as well to make identification easier.

Why are my boxes collected so early in the term?

We start deliveries as soon as all the schools are open  it takes 2-3 days to complete all the deliveries.  We start collecting the penultimate week of end of term.  It takes 5 days to visit every school.  The final  days are to chase up schools that have not returned all the boxes. Most boxes are booked for the following term, the requested boxes are collected by our courier during the holidays so that delivery can start as soon as possible, it is essential that all collections are returned complete before schools break up for the holiday.

When will a member of ELS staff visit my school

If you would like a visit to discuss any aspect of the service including developing your school library please contact  Education Library Service on (01872) 323456. 

What advice can ELS provide?

We provide advice and hands-on support in the design of new build and refurbished libraries, weeding and refreshing stock (within the terms of your exchange allowance) and how to maximise the value of your subscription.

Are there any hidden costs?

No, all loans and advice that are within the terms of the Service Level Agreement you have bought into are included within your subscription.