With around 14,000 books, hundreds of DVDs in both English and foreign languages, magazines and daily newspapers, the Library houses a wide range of resources to meet the needs of all students. The stock is constantly updated, following consultation with staff and students.
The Library is open from morning registration until end of day. Students may request to stay after school. Mrs Waltho runs the Library, assisted by Student Librarians who help to issue and return items, shelve books and maintain stock during lunchtimes.
The Library is housed on the top floor of the main building in a bright, airy location with views across the school. Besides ample tables to work at, there is an informal Reading Area with low chairs and tables to allow for quiet private reading in comfortable surroundings. In addition, there is a dedicated computer area.
Each student has a personal account on ‘Oliver’, a computerised system. In years 7-11, a student may borrow up to 5 books and 2 audio-visual aids for two weeks. In the Sixth Form this rises to sixteen books and four audio-visual aids for three weeks. It’s easy to renew an item, as well as to reserve it. Each Library user can access and search the Library Catalogue (OPAC) and make requests to the Librarian.
The Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System (000 – 999) for all non-fiction, with useful posters and signs to help students find books easily. For more detailed research and from anywhere in the school, the Library computer system has a search engine, OPAC, where items can be found under title, author, keyword, and so on. Fiction is shelved in alphabetical order of the author’s last name. Books more suitable for the older reader are clearly labelled. A map of the Library is available both on screen and in the general Subject Index to be found in the Library itself.
During the first weeks of school all Year 7 students are given an introduction to the Library as part of their English lessons, in which they learn how to become proficient Library users through a variety of activities. All new Sixth-formers are updated on resources suitable to their studies, both online and in book form.
The Library holds a range of daily newspapers and local weeklies. Many magazines are stocked, covering a variety of subject areas (including those in foreign languages). The PTFA funds teenage magazine subscriptions. An archive of the history of the school and Faversham, comprising antique volumes and photographic material, may be examined on request.
There are two Library Book Clubs, both Junior and Senior, which meet fortnightly. Activities include debates, author visits and participation in national book awards.