library 1 2000The vision for our new library was to provide a student-centred, technology rich and interactive learning environment to encourage both collaborative and independent learning and this vision became a reality in September 2020.

The library is a bright, comfortable and engaging space - the lively academic hub of the school. It is a place which instils a love of reading, research and learning, encouraging exploration and the pursuit of knowledge, as well as collaboration and the sharing of ideas. We have over 14,000 books in the library, which range from non-fiction texts, both modern and definitive, books to support research and broadening subject knowledge, as well as fiction for adults and young people, ranging from classics to modern best sellers. Our experienced Librarian, Dr Penny James, along with her Assistant, Mrs Carnochan, are on hand during the school day to assist the girls with any queries.

Located at the centre of the school campus, next to the existing and much-loved orchard, the library has been designed as a stand-alone pavilion modelled on an orangery. Taking inspiration from the fruit trees, the structural beams are fashioned to mimic splayed branches, forming an internal cluster of tree-like structures. Supported by columns, the roof has the illusion of floating over the masonry shell. Coupled with the fully glazed façade this acts to bring the orchard into the building blurring the boundary between inside and outside spaces.

Internally the new two-storey library has a lively dynamic ground floor with soft seating, an interactive coffee table and flexible teaching zones with direct access to a broad outside terrace and the orchard beyond, enabling library activity to spill out in good weather. The upper level is quieter, more formal, for more intense focused study, with several cosy 'book nooks' where the girls can curl up with a great read!

Across the two floors, there are two large project rooms with doodle walls and interactive screens, four small breakout rooms for collaborative works, and a multi-media room equipped with two Surface 3s for video editing and photography - plus a piano keyboard, enabling girls studying music to work on their compositions (headphones mandatory!).

Every opportunity has been taken to ensure an open and flexible space. Even the stairwell has been designed to create a natural set of amphitheatre steps for presentations, to provide storage for additional flexible seating and incorporates a sunken area - the Hub - with large plasma screen for groups of girls to watch author talks, hold book clubs and give presentations.

Throughout the library there are individual work spaces, informal areas as well as formal; it has more in common with a modern university library – not a completely quiet, controlled space but a place where the girls want to relax, have a coffee, pursue their broad range of interests and make the most of the technology available.