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Frontline Standard

Frontline has set the standard for active promotion of books and reading in libraries across the UK, Ireland and Australia. Nearly every service in the UK and Ireland has used Frontline. Australian librarians even coined the phrase ‘Have you Frontlined it today?’ after 1000 staff completed the course across the State of Victoria.

These 5 courses develop specific skills through interactive exercises and demonstrations combined with applied tasks in the library. Every learner is assessed by an experienced Opening the Book mentor so you can be sure they have reached the recognised standard when they are awarded a certificate.

Pick and choose among these 5 short courses to fill the most important training needs and skills gaps in your library service.

Five great courses

  • Each course is standalone and there is no overlap between them.
  • All 5 courses support frontline staff to change the way they work in the library.
  • Each course uses a mix of learning techniques and practical application in the learner’s own library to give a stimulating and enjoyable training experience.
  • Courses work across the library spectrum – fiction and non-ficton; adults, children and young adults.
  • A lively discussion group includes learners and graduates from all 5 courses.
  • Each Frontline Standard course takes about 7 hours to complete - 3 hours online and 4 hours trying things out in the workplace. It’s the equivalent of a full-day workshop but instead of taking staff away from work to attend a special training course, they can take Frontline Standard whenever and wherever fits in their schedules in conveniently bite-size chunks.

An introductory course that boosts staff confidence to talk about books and help readers recommend to each other.

"It has made me look at each person individually and not just from my point of view"

  • Learn how to engage with a range of readers away from the desk, whilst feeling safe and self-confident.
  • Develop skills to talk about books you haven’t read as much as those you have.
  • The course includes attractive downloads to use to enable readers to share their reading experiences. Plus lots of ways to use what one reader says to interest another.

This course offers the skills and routines for staff to control the library environment, taking a customer’s eye view to help staff improve the library welcome.

"Now I look at things and think what image do we present to people - are we relevant and moving with the times or stuck in a time warp?"

  • Gives a view of key library areas through your customers' eyes.
  • Introduces practical and easy techniques to make a wide range of people feel comfortable and welcome when they visit.
  • Builds quick routines to ensure the busiest spaces in the library create the best impression for all the visitors.
  • Learners choose one area of their library - the entrance, a view through a window, the arrival on an upper floor or at a particular section of the space – and take practical steps to make it more welcoming.

A course to help staff give unloved bookshelves a makeover! Teaches how to increase the performance of standard bookshelves and help readers to make fresh discoveries.

"Remember that sometimes the reason something isn't borrowed is because nobody knows it's there."

  • Learners develop skills and confidence in selecting and displaying books face-out on the shelves.
  • Introduces merchandising techniques to brand different areas, to help readers find what they are looking for and to widen choice for browsers.
  • Learners apply techniques in specific shelving areas in their own library, upload a photo and get feedback from an Opening the Book mentor.
  • Introduces new ways of working and sustainable routines across fiction, non-fiction, children and young adult.

This course will give library displays and promotions some new bite! Learners are introduced to new ways of finding readers for older stock and will explore how to target different audiences, encourage browsing and increase borrowing.

"It was interesting to see how small changes could have such a huge effect on the interest patrons were taking in our displays."

  • Learners create quick, versatile displays that are easily managed and speak directly to their target audiences.
  • Shows staff how to tap into reader motivations to create successful promotions.
  • Gives practice in bringing books from different parts of the library together in powerful combinations.
  • Learners select a good mix of books online and then plan, locate, manage and evaluate a reader-centred promotion in their own library.

Gives learners easy tools to boost their collection knowledge and keep up to date. The course will help staff develop the confidence to offer readers exciting choices and appropriate recommendations.

"I felt it gave me the opportunity to get back to what working in a library is all about."

  • Learners target different readerships, explore ways to open up genres and learn how to present positively books they don't know and may not like.
  • Support to work confidently across the whole collection; adult, children and teen; fiction and non-fiction.
  • Useful ways to keep up with trends using graphic novels as an example.
  • Practical methods to make the most of the library’s greatest strength, the range of its collection.

Sample the approach

The five Frontline Standard courses use a variety of learning styles to motivate and engage learners. Online interactive exercises help learners try out new skills before applying them in their own workplace. Each course offers high quality downloadable resources that can be used in a variety of ways, in different settings and to engage different groups of readers. Learners are asked to connect with others and learn from their experience both in the library and online. Discussion boards bring together all learners, wherever in the world they are based, to share ideas and results.

The examples below are taken from different courses and show the variety of approach within each course.

Efficient e-learning

  • Online courses offer great convenience and value. There’s no travel cost, no venue cost and online time can be scheduled in 15-30 minute slots at any time to suit.
  • Free management tools on the Frontline Dashboard enable your Frontline Administrator to allocate individual staff to courses, check their progress, amend any learner details and see who is doing which course at a glance.
  • Staff in different branches and library services can share online discussions and feel part of a learning community.
  • Our course websites are designed and maintained entirely in-house. That is how we are able to answer technical questions within 24 hours. Navigation is easy and intuitive and learners simply need access to the web and an email address. You can check the technical requirements that need to be in place to use the course website here.


  • Each learner has a personal assessor from Opening the Book who will give feedback on the main task.
  • Opening the Book award certificates to those who successfully pass the course.

How to buy places on Frontline Standard

Frontline Standard offers maximum flexibility in planning training. You can buy a number of Frontline Standard places and then allocate staff to specific courses amongst the five when you are ready.

These courses offer great value as learners can go back to the course materials at any time after they have completed the course. They can also continue to visit and participate in the online discussions.

Complete our easy Order Form and we’ll send you an invoice. You can choose to pay online from your bank account or by credit card. Once payment is received, we will email a log in and password to unlock your course places.

1 places costs $170.00
Just $170.00 per head
Order form

10% discount on 20+ places. 20% discount on 30+ places.