The main school library is situated at the rear of the school overlooking the extensive playing fields. The room is light and welcoming and is designated as a place where students can work or read in a quiet atmosphere. The library is purpose-built and can accommodate 33 students seated at tables at any one time, plus an area set aside with 7 computers, all with internet access, and a local printer. There is also an area with comfortable seating for leisure reading. A photocopier is available for staff/student use.
The main catalogue for the library is on a computerised system that is internet based called Eclipse.net. The system incorporates modern technology and has biometric recognition for users, eliminating the problem of lost library cards, and a web cam for taking student photos for their library record. Opac (online public access catalogue) is available throughout the school computer network. This enables students to check what resources are in the library, see if they are on loan and reserve items wherever they are. They are also able to write reviews on books, which after vetting by the Library Officer can be viewed by other library users.
The library houses over 8,000 resources, including reference, non-fiction and fiction books, together with videos, audiotapes, periodicals and some CD-ROMs. From September 2004 users of the library have paid small fines for overdue resources and the proceeds of this has been used to purchase popular DVDís which may then be loaned free of charge by pupils. The library now houses catalogued ICT equipment which can be loaned by students and booked by staff. This includes laptops, net books, digital cameras, camcorders, microphones, digital recorders, memory sticks and headphones.
The library offers a wide range of classic and contemporary fiction including prizewinning authors and titles, in a wide range of genres to encourage a breadth of reading. Non-fiction is carefully selected to cover all areas of the curriculum, as well as areas of general interest and updated on a rolling programme to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. A daily national newspaper and three local newspapers are available within the library.
Chess sets and scrabble boards are available for use by students at break and lunch. A structured Home learning Club is held each evening except Friday from 3.45pm until 5.15pm. This is run by staff with support from 6th form students.
Due to the high usage of the library, we are always delighted to receive donations of suitable books from parents and pupils and these may be bought into school at any time.
Miss Evison is in charge of the library. Student-librarians are welcome and are encouraged to feel part of the library and to contribute ideas to help its future development. Certificates of Librarianship will be issued to participating students after training. All teachers, ancillary staff and pupils are automatically members of the school library which is open daily from 8.55 am to 4.45 pm.