The library is a vibrant hub of learning in College. We’re especially proud of our drive to encourage students to read for pleasure so we were delighted at the OFSTED report‘s acknowledgement of this when it was noted that “the promotion of the library in the current year has seen an upsurge in its use, with the Accelerated Reading programme and frequent exciting events to engage students with reading and a host of related activities.”
The library hosts a number of fun activities every year, all designed to promote reading and allow the students to experience what their College library has to offer them, starting with a celebration of Roald Dahl Day in September (this year ten students won copies of the famous author’s books for designing ‘Dahlicious Day’ fancy dress character costumes) and moving through significant literary calendar dates with such events as Shakespeare’s Birthday Banquet, Winnie the Pooh breakfast, Children’s’ Book Week quiz, summer reading picnics and more.
World Book Day in March always turns out to be a week-long affair with too many events to cram into a single day, but some highlights are certainly the Literary Lunch, where book-themed food such as Bertie Bogtrotter’s Chocolate Cake from ‘Matilda’ is enjoyed by students dressed as storybook characters. We run book fairs, book swaps, writing competitions, book review displays and are proud to be a Community Giver school for World Book Night, an organisation which aims to promote reading among those in our area who are less likely to read without encouragement.
This year has started with even more literary enthusiasm as Year 7 are busy raising money for children’s cancer charities by doing Readathon in September; we often participate in the National Youth Film Festival which celebrate movies adapted from books. We were also chosen to help the Royal Society judge their Children’s Book of the Year and were delighted to accept an invitation to the Centre for Life where the awards ceremony was being held, for the first time outside London. The library initiated the Emmanuel Scholarship Prize in 2015 which nurtures the academic tradition of research and offers a prize of £50 to the winners in different age groups. In 2016 we hope to hold a first joint event with our sister school, Bede Academy, organised mainly by student librarians, in order to foster library links across the Foundation.
The library houses roughly 30,000 resources, including fiction, reference books, DVDs, newspapers, revision guides, encyclopaedias, laptops and more. It is used not only for borrowing and reading but as a quiet study area, and is home to the sixth form Reading Mentor scheme, a Year 8 Challenging Reads Book Club and Accelerated Reader; it provides an induction programme for Year 7, organises Sixth Form talks on academic writing conventions and provides a venue for Parenting Classes and Prayers for Emmanuel. We are open from 8am to 5pm and have an energetic team of student librarians who help us to achieve our aim of providing a calm, comfortable place to indulge in reading, research and study as well as lively, fun activities to encourage a lifelong love of literature.