The Queen’s Library, named in memory of our Founder, Queen Elizabeth I, offers extensive facilities for independent study and provides boys with a host of enrichment opportunities.
Opened in 2014, the Library is a modern and well equipped resource for all members of the School community, offering a wide selection of books, magazines and online resources for academic support and enrichment.
The facility fosters independent study by providing a quiet environment in the heart of the School in which there are 96 computer terminals, as well as plenty of desk space. Sixth-Formers may use the Library throughout the School day, whilst at lunchtime it is popular with younger boys, who come to borrow books, read quietly or do their homework. The Librarian runs an after-school club that is open to boys from all years for silent, independent study.
We stock a wide range of fiction, which continues to grow. This is tailored particularly to encourage the boys to read for pleasure; research has clearly demonstrated the academic and developmental advantages of recreational reading, and the Librarian is keen to support boys in finding something that they will enjoy.
During the 2017-18 academic year boys borrowed some 23,500 books from the Queen’s Library.
Boys are supported to develop skills of authorship, with the School benefiting from having both a Poet in Residence and a Writer in Residence, who help unleash pupils’ imagination by providing workshops in poetry and creative-writing respectively.
Other extra-curricular activities include: the Kids Lit Quiz team, Excelsior! (a manga-drawing club), and Look (a club promoting slow looking at art).
Boys can apply to run their own lunchtime club in the Library’s teaching room, which is a soundproofed annex to the main Library space. This affords pupils organisational and administrative experience, while also providing them with a space to explore an extra-curricular passion with their peers.
Our non-fiction section is also developing quickly. Stock from the departments’ own collections was catalogued and moved into the Library in its first few months. The School is now working to create an outstanding research collection for every subject, supported by donations from Old Elizabethans and other supporters of the School. We have an up-to-date selection of ‘extended reading’ materials, which aim to broaden and deepen boys’ academic interests, challenging them to move beyond the syllabus. This is particularly useful for sixth-formers preparing for university interviews. For boys undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, a selection of sample projects is available for consultation in the Library. In addition, we have a careers section, with advice and information on university courses, gap years and the world of work.
The Library is not just a physical space, however. It has its own virtual presence on eQE, with a sophisticated online catalogue that boys can access at home and in School to keep track of their loans, reserve books, write reviews, and obtain suggestions for further reading. Boys and staff are able to directly inform acquisitions through the ‘request a book’ facility, whilst the resources section offers a wide range of educational links, suggested lectures, videos and recommended reading lists for each subject area.
Boys can get directly involved in the Library by becoming a pupil librarian. The team works closely with the Librarian, volunteering for lunchtime shifts on the circulation desk, assisting users, writing book reviews, and shelving books. They are thus given real responsibility and the opportunity to develop skills such as communication, customer service, and organisation, while even the process of applying for the role, which involves writing a letter and attending an interview with School Vice Captains and the librarians, gives applicants valuable experience. Pupil librarians are encouraged to undertake a special project during their time in post and to work towards the Silver and Gold Library Awards.