The library is a warm and welcoming hub where students engage with each other in collaborative or independent learning and leisure activities. Library staff members seek to provide students with high-level access to a wide range of resources and services which will help them to achieve their academic goals, develop their literacy and read for pleasure. Chess is also a popular library activity. The congenial atmosphere promotes positive relationships between students and staff which enhance student learning.
The teacher librarian is proactive in teaching students and staff how to get the most out of the library based on current research, including Carol Kulthau’s research on the Information Process, Professor Andrew Martin’s research on boys’ education and gifted and talented, and Andrew Fuller’s research on adolescent learning. All students are taught at point of need and all Year 7 students are given 15 library lessons to help them to become excellent researchers and library users.
The library seeks to develop and support student literacy by fostering a culture of reading amongst students and staff. Students can request books which the library will purchase thereby creating a strong collection of popular series and graphic fiction books. The teacher librarian also aims to extend students’ reading to classic and contemporary literary fiction by rewarding students in reading competitions such as the Premier’s Reading challenge and the Tech Reading Challenge. The student-led Reading Club which runs before school on Wednesdays and Fridays also supports this aim. The Library Team is another initiative which provides students with an opportunity to become familiar with the range of library resources available to them as members of the team assist with library duties such as shelving.
The library also aims to develop links with the wider school community through providing ex students with access to the school archives. The Bob Booth Archive Room is situated on the mezzanine level where the school archives are maintained and available by appointment for inspection by alumni.
Premier's Reading Challenge
Open to students from Years 7-9, the Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) runs from 1 September-21 August. Students must read 20 books, of which 15 must be on the Premier’s Reading Challenge book lists.
Students register for the Challenge in March and enter their books online using their internet user name and password to log in. The PRC website is https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/prc/home.html. Students are rewarded with Premier’s Reading Challenge Certificates and points towards the Wykeham award.
Reading can be a solitary activity for those of us who love to read. The Book Club provides students from Years 7-11 with an opportunity to meet regularly with like-minded avid readers and discuss their reading.
Students select books, and recommend books to each other, which are appealing and challenging, widening their exposure to different genres and authors. Rewards for students include points towards the Wykeham award and merit certificates.
The school has the most complete archive of alumni and aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in Australia.
The school archive comprises documents; photographs and artefacts relating to the founding of the school in 1911 and its history.
The school spans three educational sites; Ultimo; Paddington and Bexley, and information relating to alumni, past teachers and the life of the school can be readily found in the archives.