Albert Einstein once said that “The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library”. If one of the greatest minds in history thought this, then to these words we must pay heed. Whether you are new or old, student or staff member, make sure you visit Lister Library to discover the treasure within your reach.

Our most obvious treasure is to be found in our book collection for within the covers lie thousands of worlds, dreams, cultures, voices, histories and much more. We have over 10,000 books in Lister Library and we are constantly adding to this. We are, of course, in possession of a vast Young Adult fiction collection but we also have a large selection of Adult fiction as well as graphic novels, plays, poetry, easy readers and short stories. Over one hundred books are available to loan as class sets for use in tutor times. Our non-fiction collection is similarly substantial with an Advanced section to challenge able readers and provide inspiration for further study. Visit the library regularly to view our frequently changing displays – currently, we have ones for new books, classics, Black History Month and World Mental Health Day. Not sure what to read next? We are always happy to recommend something – talking about books is a favourite pastime of librarians!

We spend much of our time leading library lessons with year 7, 8 and 9. Each class visits us once a fortnight and we use the lesson to monitor their reading, help them choose new books, provide the opportunity to take Accelerated Reader quizzes on the books they have finished and read and discuss a news article. We get to know the students and their reading habits really well and are always trying to encourage them to aim high through reading books that provide a challenge, but that they will also enjoy. So what books are popular at Lister? Well, Alex Wheatle’s books barely touch the shelves they are loaned so frequently; copies of Alex Rider books can be seen in the hands of many of our students and a surprising amount of pupils always seek out something in the horror genre.

Whilst research has proven reading for pleasure is hugely beneficial in so many ways, not least for academic attainment and mental health, we know that many students find it hard to see the ‘pleasure’ element of reading. That is why we are passionate about uniting students with books that really interest them, about characters to whom they can relate. We are building a reading culture in the school, not only through enforcing 20 minutes of reading homework every day and supporting DEAR, but also through events like World Book Day and schemes like Bookbuzz. We also take top Accelerated Reader achievers on a trip each term to places like The National Gallery, Museum of London and The British Library and we have a team of Library Prefects who assist us at break and lunch times.

Hopefully, this post has given you a taste of what Lister Library has to offer. Next time we will share more about how we support the research needs of our staff and student community. Until then, keep reading and remember that the “The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library”.

Hannah Rowe

(Deputy Librarian)

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