Library and Learning Lounge
The mission of the Library and Learning Lounge is to ensure that pupils and staff are effective users of ideas and information, as well as to promote reading. The Library is central to the fulfilment of instructional goals and objectives of the School, and promotes this through a planned programme of acquisition and organisation of information, and the dissemination of materials to expand the learning environment of all pupils. Teaching information skills is also an essential part of the School Library programme.
The Library's online catalogue and subscription databases are available to pupils 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a virtual learning system. A class set of laptops located in the Library allows for information literacy lessons and practice to ensure pupils know how to access these resources. Prep School and Senior School Library and Learning Lounge Committees meet throughout the year to provide pupil input into the Library collection, as well as promoting the positive atmosphere of the Library and leading the direction of the Library programme.
The Library and Learning Lounge hosts several author and storyteller visits throughout the year to promote reading and there are competitions such as Primary Battle of the Books, Secondary Battle of the Books, and Kids Lit Quiz. The Library also supports and participates in the Hong Kong Golden Dragon Award programme, allowing pupils to vote for their favourite titles from books selected by prominent Hong Kong school librarians.
The Library houses approximately 24,000 books including over 1,400 ebooks for pupils. Book levels range from board books for toddlers all the way through to university prep reading. A trial of audio books commenced at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
The Library subscribes to several databases including Britannica Encyclopaedia and Image Quest, Kids Infobits, National Geographic for Kids, Brain POP, The Churchill Archives, JSTOR, Gale Research in Context, Gale Global Issues in Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Science in Context, History in Context and Gale Literature Criticism Online.
The Library subscribes to over 30 hard copy and electronic journals and magazines covering all ages and all subjects.
The Aunty Peach Show was presented to Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 on 29 November 2016. Along with the vibrant storytelling and startling magic tricks, the pupils were given many useful and practical tips for using their voices, their faces and bodies to benefit their own future drama performances and classroom presentations. The show proved to be a truly memorable and valuable experience.
Children’s author and columnist for the South China Morning Post, Ms. Kelly Yang, visited with Year 1 pupils on 28 November 2016. Her book, Where’s Broccoli, is the story of a boy who takes his favourite toy with him on a beach holiday. Ms. Yang talks about her own holiday experiences and about how the book developed. Pupils were thrilled as Ms. Yang involved them in her talk.
Mr. David Schwartz visited on 20 March 2017, entertaining Years 5, 6, 7 and 8. He has written over 50 books. How Much Is a Million?, his first book, was inspired when one night he gazed at the stars and remembered how he was in awe of space as a child. During his talks Mr. Schwartz emphasised how the world is full of wonder and how one of his favourite words is ‘if’, which allows for an infinite number of solutions. Our pupils were enthralled by his talk and loved his representation of counting to 100,000 with a huge bag of popcorn. His books are appropriate for all ages.
Mr. Leigh Hobbs was born in Melbourne and grew up wishing to be an artist and wishing to travel to England. As a successful author and illustrator circling the globe talking about his books, he can surely say his wishes have come true. On 21 March, the pupils thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mr. Hobbs as he talked them through the drawing of his most famous book characters: Old Tom, Mr. Chicken and Horrible Harriet. Each character came to life on the page as Mr. Hobbs showed the students how to draw them one line at a time. He stressed that each pupil's picture was different because each one of them is different, and that being different is perfectly fine. As well as being a renowned sculptor, Mr. Hobbs has written over 20 children’s books, many of which are in our Lower School Library.
Ms Mary H. Jones,
Head of Library & Learning Lounge
Ms. Jones holds degrees and certifications in Education and Library and Information Science from the State University of New York and the University of Texas at Austin respectively. She has worked in education for over 30 years both in the classroom and in libraries ranging from Lower School to Community College. Along with extensive travels, Ms. Jones has lived in five different US states and five different countries around the world. She is passionate about books and sharing the love of reading to pupils of all ages. Ms. Jones strongly feels information literacy skills are essential for pupils to become discerning lifelong learners, with the competencies to select, evaluate, and use information appropriately and effectively.