"The Library is the beating heart of aNY school."
The Library is a whole-school resource welcoming students and staff for both enjoyment and study. A Chartered Librarian or Library Assistant is always available to answer enquiries and to help choose books for pleasure.
Opening hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm, and everybody may visit at break and lunchtime as well as during Library lessons. Students from Years 8 to 13 serve as Student Librarians, working at the issue desk during lunchtime.
Homework Club runs from 3.30 to 4.30pm every day, offering a quiet place for students to read, work or use computers. Students can attend as and when they wish - they do not have to come every day or stay for the full hour.
Accessit can also be found on the school website, by clicking on the yellow button with a picture of a computer screen in the quick links menu on the right-hand side. Alternatively it can be found in the 'waffle' within students' school Gmail.
Both students and staff can log in to their Library accounts to see what they have on loan, and reserve and renew books. The dashboard is regularly updated with new book carousels, news items and information on how to use Accessit.
An excellent online resource for the whole school, Britannica can be found on the Accessit dashboard and some Google Classrooms. Britannica School is a safe, up-to-date and age-appropriate information resource for Primary and Secondary Schools. Students can either search at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level for articles, games and other learning resources.
We hold approximately 5500 fiction and 7000 non-fiction books. Fiction is divided into Junior and Senior sections to help students select suitable works. There is a range of magazines, journals and newspapers on offer. Computers are available to students for study purposes at lunchtime.
The Library also houses the Chromebook crèche and media equipment for Sixth Form students and school use. These resources are all issued on the library system.
There is a games table at lunchtime with chess, hangman and other popular games available.
The Library is usually a hive of activity. We run a weekly book group – the Library Goblins – for all year groups, where students share their enthusiasm for reading. The group takes part in the North Herts Schools Book Award event, shadows the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, and helps purchase books for the Library. Author visits are held periodically to give students an insight into the creative process of writing a book.
World Book Day in March is a major date in the calendar. This is usually marked by a Book Fair run by David’s Bookshop, Letchworth, which classes attend throughout the day. We encourage the whole school to become a reading community through activities like sharing a short story, or Guess the Reader and Masked Reader competitions.
Over the years, thousands of pounds have been raised through cake sales for Book Aid, a charity which changes lives by sending brand new books to schools and libraries overseas.
The Librarian runs an evening HGS Book Club which meets half-termly. Members are drawn from the wider community and enjoy lively discussion on a chosen book.
Mrs Mary Goose, a Chartered Librarian, has been at Hitchin Girls’ School since 2004.
Mrs Jenny Woods, Library and Digital Learning Resources Assistant, joined the school in 2021.
Key Stage 3
Library skills lessons are delivered by the Librarian or English teachers throughout the year, to enable students to become independent and effective learners.
The Librarian also works with the English Department to deliver fortnightly active Library lessons for Years 7 and 8, in which a scheme of reading awards and group reading extend their literacy and reading stamina. Library Ambassadors from Year 12 provide invaluable support during Library lessons.
key stage 4
The Library offers a wide range of books in the Senior Fiction section, across a variety of genres. As well as the non-fiction books available, the Library stocks subject-specific journals and offers access to the Britannica online resource to aid research.
Key Stage 5
We offer an induction to students at the start of Year 12. Some subject staff bring students to the Library to introduce them to the resources. The Library is also used as a venue for private study for Sixth Formers. There is a range of subject-specific journals available to students, as well as newspapers and magazines.
Here are some links to recommendations, reviews and other features, to guide you through the vast and intriguing world of books:
Book Aid https://bookaid.org/
Book Trust https://www.booktrust.org.uk/
Hertfordshire Library Service https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/libraries-and-archives.aspx
Literacy Trust www.literacytrust.org.uk