Loreto College St Albans

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The Library

Welcome to the Loreto Library!

The library can be found in the Teresa Ball building, at the heart of our school. It is open from 8.15 am – 4.00 pm daily, including all break times and lunch times.

Library Membership

All of our pupils automatically become library members when they join Loreto. Soon after they first arrive, they all receive 2 induction sessions. Mrs Stack, our librarian, explains to them how the library works, and what sort of resources are available to them. We currently have just under 17,000 books, as well as other resources such as audio books, DVDs, daily newspapers and a host of periodicals. We also have a computer which the students are welcome to use during the school day as a learning resource. The number of items students can borrow from the library rises as they move up through the school.

Book Orders

If pupils cannot find a book they want, we are usually happy to order it for them. Books usually arrive in school within 7 days of the request being made. There is a fine for returning books late, as with all libraries: the cost is 5p per day for each book.

Library Monitors

Our librarian welcomes the support of her library monitors. Girls who apply for this position are given four training sessions during their lunch breaks. They are shown how to shelve the books correctly, take care of a certain part of the library, issue and return books and help with displays. This is greatly enjoyed by the girls and they really benefit from this opportunity to develop their skills.

Whole School Read

Our girls are encouraged to read widely. Each year the librarian chooses a book for the whole school to read and enjoy. Once the book has been read and approved by Mrs Thompson, multiple copies are purchased and the whole school becomes a giant book club! Recent titles include: A House Without Walls by Elizabeth Laird (2020); No Fixed Address by Susin Neilson (2019); 928 Miles From Home by Kim Slater (2018); The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (2017); One by Sarah Crossan (2016).

Carnegie Award

Our school is involved in the prestigious Carnegie Award which means that our gifted readers in Year 9 are asked to read the ‘shortlisted’ books – usually seven titles – and their reviews of these are posted on the Carnegie Website. This is a great way for the girls to see their written work published, and to have fun discussing books.

Writing Competitions

The Loreto library also encourages our readers to enter writing competitions, and the successful girls enjoy being rewarded with new books and occasionally chocolates too!

Author Visits

We love inviting authors into the school, and aim to have at least five author visits per year. This gives the girls a chance to meet established writers, and be inspired to explore their own creativity. Authors who have recently visited Loreto include HELEN MOSS, SARAH CROSSAN, TANYA LANDMAN, JULIE HEARN, JOHN BRINDLEY, JONATHAN STROUD, CATHY CASSIDY, JULIET ARCHER, NICOLA MORGAN, MARRISA MEYER, MOIRA YOUNG, KATE MARYON, SOPHIA BENNETT and RACHEL CAMPBELL-JOHNSTON.

World Book Day

The library also celebrates World Book Day every March. As well as inviting authors in for this event, we also have a Giant Book Sale, and each student is given book tokens to reduce the costs of books. Free books are sometimes available too!

National Day of Poetry

Every October we take part in the National Day of Poetry. Girls are asked to read one of their favourite published poems or a poem they have written themselves. This is a very enjoyable day during which the librarian encourages everyone to write for pleasure.

Winter Clubs

During the wet and cold winter months, pupils can also take part in chess clubs or scrabble sessions, as well as studying and reading for pleasure.

To sum up…

Loreto Library is a very busy place, where students and staff are all made to feel very welcome.