Hackney New School Library
Open from 8am – 4pm everyday.
Librarians: Joanna De Guia and Fiona McAuslan
The Library at HNS currently has 3700 fiction and non-fiction books housed in a light airy room on the third floor of the main Canal Building. The library is managed by a qualified librarian with the support of a rota of student librarians.
In keeping with the school’s core beliefs of academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, responsibility and self-belief, the library provides students and staff with a wide range of educational and recreational books and magazines designed to support the needs of all users, from ‘quick reads’ – that is, shorter simpler books aimed at teenagers – through to classics in beautiful hardback editions which students are encouraged to tackle in order to challenge themselves.
There is an online catalogue (the Web OPAC) accessible from any computer within school. Students and staff can search for books and websites by title, author, subject or keyword. The catalogue home page is regularly updated with news items, such as Author of the Week, book lists under subjects and links to online resources. Users can also log on to their own area of the catalogue and see their borrowing history, review, reserve or renew their books, and create book lists.
Twice a week the library hosts ‘reading buddies’ sessions during which Year 9 volunteers read with Year 7 students, supporting them with their literacy and helping them find books at their level. Year 9 reading buddy volunteers undergo training to help prepare them for this important role. Adult volunteers from the local community also regularly come into the library to read with our students.
Throughout the year there are events, trips and clubs related to reading and the library. The book group takes part, along with other Hackney schools, in the annual Shadowing the Carnegie Medal Award event. There are regular visits from authors and poets with book-signing sessions. Once a term the librarian takes a group of students to the British Library to enjoy a tour and a workshop. The highlight of the year is the week-long celebration of reading around World Book Day with lots of fun activities. There are quizzes and competitions, a Readathon, a Book Swap, and on the last day, in what is fast becoming an annual tradition, the whole school gets together to dress up as a character from a book.
To view the gallery of students using the library, please click here.