‘Support is fantastic and so efficient. The webinars are great because the instructors are excellent at getting the information across and the team can keep up to date without leaving the school.’Anne Stokes, Manager Learning Resources
|At a Glance|
St John’s School Marlborough is an internationally renowned co-educational Academy with 1700 students from years 7-13.
At St John’s every student is valued for their individuality and encouraged to thrive and develop, whatever their aspirations.
In 2009, the school moved from a split site (1.5 miles apart) to a single site, a relocation which was completely funded by the school itself.
St John’s has two libraries, including a 6th Form Library, which provides a silent working space and the Atrium Library, which is in constant use by students across all years from early morning until late afternoon.
Manager Learning Resources, Anne Stokes said the libraries provide a safe and inspirational place for students of all abilities to thrive.
‘We pride ourselves on being at the very heart of the school in terms of both physicality and the support we offer. Students love that it is a really inviting place to work or chill out.’
The school’s resource collection is significant, with almost 19 thousand bibliographic resources and 39 thousand copies. In addition to the fiction and nonfiction books available, students have access to a range of graphic novels, magazines, journals, DVDs, audio books and Weblinks. Textbooks and class sets are also catalogued and issued to students.
‘We subscribe to Weblinks, which is a wonderful addition to the search facility in Oliver, offering thousands of links to websites.’
Library displays also feature prominently in school life. Displays are planned to fit in with different departments, bringing lesson plans to life and further engaging students in topics.
Year 7 science students were treated to a space display that included astronaut training and activities, which encouraged them to find information from various factsheets hanging in the display.
‘Students love the displays and are always wanting to know what will be next, or suggesting what they would like us to do. A favourite is the World Book Day celebrations, which last for a whole week.’
Collaboration and creativity are key elements to the libraries’ success.
‘We work closely with the History department and have created bookmarks for historical fiction books set in the era they are studying. The students are set the challenge of completing three book reviews throughout the year as part of their homework.’
The libraries provide multiple services to support literacy and research development, with Accelerated Reader playing a major part.
‘We provide fortnightly lessons for Years 7 & 8, plus lower ability older students for every English class.’
As well as providing individual support for research and development projects, the library team delivers library induction sessions and Oliver training for all Year 7s and research and referencing skills lessons for 6th Form students to encourage independent learning and success.
Having transitioned from Alice, Anne says they find Oliver v5 invaluable in delivering library induction, historical fiction, and research skills lessons.
‘It is so user friendly that the students really quickly find their way around the system.’
Some of their favourite features in Oliver v5 include the search functionality, Lists and Weblinks.
‘The students love using Oliver to search for items. They use it extensively for research, ideas for new books to read and looking for Accelerated Reader levels.
6th Form students specifically benefit when researching for their extended essays.
The busy three-person library team also likes the administration functions, which save them time and improve service delivery.
‘Overdue reports are quick and simple to run and means there is much better control over the return of stock. Teachers find this particularly useful when trying to get textbooks returned, find out how many books they have and whether they need to purchase more.’
The library team also enjoys the support they receive from Softlink, including the free webinars and the feeling of being part of a global community.
‘Support is fantastic and so efficient. The webinars are great because the instructors are excellent at getting the information across and the team can keep up to date without leaving the school.’
‘I absolutely LOVE my job, every single aspect and I feel extremely fortunate and privileged to be working in role that really doesn’t feel like work at all!’