Memorial Library Round-Up

Monday 3rd July 2023

Summer is our shortest term, but also one of the busiest times of year: we’ve had over 15,000 visits to the Library and issued over 2,000 loans. We’ve had visits from local primary schools, and from our partner school Swindon Academy, we’ve seen the Shell through their Form Research Projects, and of course, we’ve been here to support our exam year groups with a quiet space, group revision areas, and lollipops on hand for those in need. Here are a few highlights and images from a wonderful term… 

Harry Potter Afternoon for Local Primary Schools

Early summer saw the library very busy with local primary school classes visiting for an afternoon of Harry Potter fun; they were greeted by Hagrid, the groundskeeper of Hogwarts, who was filling in for Head Librarian Mr Burton. Hagrid led his intrepid pupils through an alchemy class (combining spaghetti and marshmallows), followed by a magical scavenger hunt through the library, and finally exams (an interactive Harry Potter trivia quiz). The pupils from St Mary’s CE primary school were thrilled to meet Hagrid and explore our Hogwarts-style library, and Hagrid was equally delighted to receive some wonderful thank you letters and drawings in return.

Swindon Academy Partnership

Our work with local schools continued with fortnightly visits from our partner school Swindon Academy. Their Year 10 Grammar Stream pupils joined us to work on a research project looking at unsung heroes from history. Pupils chose a range of fascinating historical figures, including Baldwin IV the so-called ‘Leper King’ and Percy Julian, a pioneering African American chemist. We also worked with Year 8 pupils on a book-to-film challenge; pupils worked in small teams to adapt classic books such as Dracula, Treasure Island, and Sherlock Holmes, into two minute movie trailers, taking full advantage of the College grounds as a backdrop.

We look forward to welcoming Swindon Academy back to the library next year for the chance to build on their research and presenting skills, and of course, more fun and prizes.

The Everest Reading Challenge Reward Party

This year, 20 pupils joined us at our reward party for keen readers and Everest Reading Challenge completers. We set up the Library as a cinema for the afternoon, complete with popcorn, sweets and snacks, and held a private screening of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, before tucking into a supper of pizza and burgers. All Everest Reading Challenge completers also received a £30 Cineworld voucher, so they and a friend can catch a movie over the summer too. Well done to everyone who conquered the reading challenge this year!

University Reading Lists

This term has also seen the launch of our new University Reading series. This will be a collection of reading lists aimed at helping pupils prepare for their UCAS personal statements, and university interviews. Extra-curricular reading is one of the best ways to deepen subject knowledge and understanding, and demonstrate enthusiasm for a chosen field. Any reading which pupils do can be logged on the College’s new UniFrog platform, and used to inform the university application process.

Currently three university reading lists are available, with lots more in the works.

Upper Sixth Goodbyes

Every summer term brings mixed emotions, as we say goodbye to our departing Upper Sixth. Here in the Library we’ve seen first-hand how hard everyone has been working towards their exams, and how supportive they have been of each other, especially at moments when emotions have been running high. Everyone can be very proud of themselves, and we hope pupils will now have some time to relax and unwind.

We’ve also been very touched by the thank you messages we’ve received from pupils, and we’ll end this news round-up with a few of these, all of which speak to what a special place the Library can be. It is a privilege to run this service for such a wonderful community of pupils and staff, and we wish you all a wonderful and restful summer, and look forward to seeing you in September for another year of books, events, and fun!

The Memorial Library Team

“Dear Mr Burton, I would like to say thank you, not just only from myself but from the whole school. You are the unsung hero of the college. Your events such as the Harry Potter night will be an unforgettable memory that will stay with me forever. I hope you are aware of how you and your library staff are both needed and loved. I hope that you continue to put on amazing events and create such a welcoming environment that you have within the library. For one last time thank you, from Hufflepuff.”

“Dear Mr Burton and the Library staff, thank you so much for all of your support and dedication to helping myself and other pupils in the library. The library has been an incredibly helpful and useful space over my time at Marlborough, whether I used it for my Shell form project, EPQ, or as a space to revise for A levels.”

“Dear Ms. Williams and Mr. Burton, I remember that my first ever encounter with you was when I made the happy mistake of engaging you in a random conversation about geopolitics in Shell and, well, the rest is history! I would just like to say thank you for always encouraging me to continue reading with your awesome recommendations. Thank you for allowing me to use the library as almost an office for when I have insanely difficult work and for helping me when I desperately need guidance with writing an essay, even if you’re in the middle of much more important adult business. Most of all, thank you for guiding me to see the world in new perspectives.”

Other News