Summer Term Library Review

Summer is our shortest term, but we’ve certainly packed in a lot of events and activities: we’ve had over 14,500 visits to the Library and over 1,700 loans. We’ve launched our new ‘Ideas Space’: a collaborative working area featuring Marlborough College’s biggest whiteboard, and it certainly proved extremely popular during the exam period!

We’ve offered both quiet and interactive revision spaces, we’ve run code-cracking ‘Escape Room’ style challenges for our Hundred and for visiting Swindon Academy pupils, we’ve made sure that all of our Shell pupils have been able to borrow some summer reading, and we’ve shipped off over 50 boxes of books to our sister school Marlborough College Malaysia. Here’s a few highlights, and a few photos…

The Everest Reading Challenges

Our Everest Reading Challenges are now in their fourth year, and are a core part of Marlborough’s reading strategy. Each challenge offers a selection of books for pupils to choose from, and a target number of books to read in order to win a place on our reward trip for pizza and a private movie screening:

  • Base Camp: A fiction reading challenge for Lower School pupils (10 books required)
  • The Summit: A fiction reading challenge for Upper School pupils (5 books required)
  • North Face: A reading challenge for Modern Languages pupils, offering a mix of fiction and non-fiction across six different languages (5 books required)
  • The Expedition: A non-fiction reading challenge for pupils of Maths, the Sciences and Psychology (5 books required)

All reading challenge books are selected by Heads of Department, in collaboration with the library team, and are a great way of branching out and developing as a reader. The subject-specific reading challenges (North Face and The Expedition) are also perfect for developing wider subject knowledge and preparing for university personal statements. The Summit has also been entirely refreshed to assist English Pre-U pupils with selecting their Personal Investigation texts: each book has a list of themes and suggested companion texts. And of course, our two fiction challenges have been updated with a range of exciting new titles, from classics like ‘The Hobbit’ and Sherlock Holmes, to contemporary fiction such as Sarah Crossan’s ‘Moonrise’ and Marlon James’ ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’.

The summer break is the perfect time to get a head start on next year’s challenge, and if you’d like to explore the selections, the booklets for all four Everest Challenges are available to download from the College website.

Everest Reading Challenge Trip – Thursday 27th June

 This year 35 pupils joined us on our reward trip for keen readers and Everest Reading Challenge completers. We headed to Pizza Hut for a pizza party, and then to Cineworld for a private screening of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Even after all the pizza and ice-cream, everyone still had room for sweets and popcorn! Well done to everyone who conquered the Reading Challenge this year!

Non-Fiction Book Clubs

This Summer term also saw the first two meetings of our non-fiction book group, ‘Books and Biscuits, Tea and Talk’ (as named by our lovely Pupil Librarian team).

Unlike a traditional book group, we don’t all read the same book; instead pupils and staff can sign up to give a 5-minute talk about a non-fiction book they’ve enjoyed (or not!), or simply come along to listen and join in the discussion. It’s perfect for picking up book recommendations and practicing presentation skills, and we’re very much looking forward to our next meeting in September.

Find out more about the books we’ve discussed so far:

Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass by Darren McGarvey

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch

Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich

All That Remains: A Life in Death by Sue Black

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure by Cédric Villani

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

Stats of the Year

This has been another bumper year for the library, with over 45,000 visits, over 6,000 loans, and 133 individual research support sessions on topics ranging from the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis to the assassination of JFK. Phew!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our pupils and visitors, and to wish everyone a very happy summer holiday. We look forward to seeing you in September!

The Memorial Library Team



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