The Library was designed by local architect Birkin Haward and opened in 1982 by Sir Hugh Casson. It is centrally placed on the Senior School site and has many roles to fulfil, including housing numerous gifts such as the Dingle Foot Library and accompanying Giles cartoon, plus the four widely known John Piper stained glass windows which were commissioned by John Blatchly. Our non fiction section caters for the whole of the Senior School and staff, and our fiction is mainly for Year 9 pupils and upwards plus staff. Fiction for Lower School pupils is held mainly in the Junior Library, which is run with the Library, and where Lower School pupils have their reading and some other English lessons.
The Library is open from 8.30 to 5.30 every school day and there is always a member of library staff available to give assistance. The Library is usually silent during lesson times (though possibly not if class research is taking place) but quiet talking is permitted during breaks. We have a Library Committee consisting of pupils from each year which meets regularly.
In total we hold around 18,000 items, including classical CDs, a large collection of DVDs, and a good selection of newspapers, magazines and periodicals. We subscribe to several e resources which can be accessed, with the library online catalogue, from anywhere via the school website, and teachers are routinely asked for suggestions for curriculum related resources. Pupils’ requests are usually met too. As well as being a lending library and cross curricular research resource, the Library is used for sixth form private study, particularly for Year 12 for which registers are kept.
The Library is on the school computer and WiFi networks; induction sessions are given for pupils in Years 7 and 9 and practical research sessions for Years 7 and 8. The librarian runs reading programmes and is particularly involved in helping reluctant readers.
Much emphasis is placed on the willingness of library staff to help, and on the fact that library skills are transferable life skills.