About Our Libraries
Chiswick House School and St Martin’s College house two well-stocked libraries that provide students and teachers with a wide range of facilities and a welcoming environment for reading, research, study, teaching and much more. Both operate a fully automated library system and are well frequented by students and teachers alike. Student book loans are very positive and students are encouraged to give their feedback on the books available and to suggest favourite book titles. There is close collaboration between both libraries, especially with regards to decisions concerning the classification system, database management, collection development, the division of the library collection according to age groups, author visits and reading lessons. The librarians regularly participate in activities and programmes organised by the National Literacy Agency.
Chiswick House School
Re-organisation of Chiswick House School Library started in September 2009 and to date there are over 7,000 classified and catalogued books.
The library provides a welcoming environment that aims to attract young children to books from an early age and inculcate a love of reading. The collection consists mainly of books of fiction. There is also a Reference section, a small non-fiction section and a section of Teachers’ Resources. The Dewey Decimal Classification system is used to classify the reference and non-fiction books. The fiction collection is colour coded as a broad guide for children to find their suitable reading level.
The Library is open during school break everyday for Levels 3, 4 and 5 pupils and for 30 minutes after school on Thursdays. Pupils may also use the library during class times at the discretion of their teachers.
Library classes are held to ensure that pupils feel confident in using their school library. The Level 3s are given an introduction to the library at the beginning of the scholastic year to provide a broad idea on library use. Other classes are given to all three levels and these either focus on an author or book genre or on a selection of books suited to the level of readers.
The school welcomes authors’ visits to the school: this has been an annual event for the past few years. Pupils have the opportunity to meet an author who speaks to them about his/her works. Pupils may also buy the books and have them signed. Before the visit, Library classes are organised to introduce the particular author and his books to the children.
New books are purchased every scholastic year.
St Martin's College
The Library and Learning Resource Centre provides a welcoming and vibrant environment for a variety of study, teaching and learning strategies for students and staff at St Martin’s College. It is physically divided into three sections, namely the multi-media area, the reading room and the reference and sixth form section. The collection, currently totalling over 20,000 resources, is divided into fiction, non-fiction, reference, Melitensia, sixth form, teachers’ resources, magazines and audio-visual categories.
The library is open during school hours throughout the scholastic year and during specific periods in the summer holidays. Books are purchased on a regular basis and entered into the library database. The catalogue is fully automated as is the circulation system. Book borrowing statistics are very positive and on a constant increase. Apart from browsing and borrowing books, students use the library’s peaceful environment at break time to read, study, conduct research and carry out group work. Computers are available for study related purposes. Photocopying and printing facilities are also available.
As a learning resource centre and information hub, the library service goes beyond book circulation. The main reading room is used for research sessions especially during History, SOK, Ethics and PQ lessons. Students are taught how to research secondary sources in both print and electronic format. The multi-media area is equipped with a projector and a wide-screen TV and provides a welcoming interactive learning environment. Educational, cultural and informative activities are held regularly and include Professional Learning meetings for teachers, Parents Participation Programmes, students’ skills sessions, meetings with authors, exhibitions, research and much more. Activities are also organised for World Book and Copyright Day in April. Parents and students are kept updated on library news and events through announcements via MySchool, the school website and social media pages.
Teachers book the multi-media area for lessons. The librarian acquires and circulates inspection copies of books and other resources among subject teachers and makes sure that they are aware of any new reference material purchased by the library. There is an area for teachers’ resources in the library and material is issued for use in classrooms or by the various departments.
At the start of the scholastic year library orientation lessons are organised for Level 6 students to help them become confident in using the different areas of the library. During the year these students attend weekly library lessons during which they are introduced to established children’s authors and different reading genres. Students fill in handouts and learn to sift through the vast amount of information available from different sources. This constitutes an informal approach to teaching information literacy to younger students, a very important skill for the 21st century learner. A more formal approach is undertaken in collaboration with teachers where older students carry out project-oriented research in the library.
The Library and Learning Resource Centre has won several awards, namely: the ‘School Library of the Year’ title in 2003 and 2010 and the ‘School Librarian of the Year’ award in 2009 (issued by the Schools Library Service of the Student Services Department within the Directorate for Educational Services); the ‘Gold Award’ in the ‘Book Champion School’ National Competition (organised by the Literacy and Information Support Unit within the National Literacy Agency).