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Guide to the Smallbone Library and its services: Using our different spaces

Basic Layout

The Smallbone Library is spread over 2 floors:

The Lower Library is a multi-function space with areas for reading and collaborative working, and a class set of computers. The Careers Department and offices for the Heads of Middle and Upper School can be found at the back of this floor, as can the pupil toilets. It houses all the fiction books, non-fiction aimed at F3 and below, DVDs, talking books, magazines, and careers and university related resources.

The Upper Library is an area for individual silent study only and houses the main non-fiction collection which is aimed at F3 and above.

The guide below gives a more detailed exploration of the space, including:

The rules and expectations for the different spaces are given to the right.

Fire procedure

In the event of an emergency evacuation or drill:

  • Leave all your belongings behind and make your way quickly and quietly out through the nearest fire exit to the assembly point. This is Assembly Point 2, near the front entrance to the Computer Science building.
  • The main fire exits are at the bottom of the two stairwells. These doors are alarmed, so do not use them at other times.
  • Only use the main front door if you are in the foyer or the bag store when the alarm goes off. There is an additional fire exit in the Careers Department.

Lower Library tour

The Lower Library is a multi-use space with 5 distinct zones. With the exception of the Careers Department, there are no physical barriers between the zones so it is important to be considerate of others. Quiet collaborative working is welcomed in this space during the day as long as other Library users are respected. This is particularly important to remember in the Foyer and the Computer Area.

In the evening all areas of the Library are for silent study only.

Zone 1: Foyer

If you have time, pause as you enter the foyer to enjoy the display put on by the Art Department of student and/or staff work. Don't forget to drop any bags, coats or umbrellas off in the bag store, before continuing into the Library to the left of the issue desk. The issue desk is the first place to come with any queries or suggestions, as well as the place to return, renew or borrow items.

As you enter the main area of the Library, you will see the reading area directly in front of you. The Meetings Room, where you might have lessons, meetings or activities, is to your right just before the stairwell.


Zone 2: Reading area

 The Reading Tree at the centre of this comfortable reading space both reminds us   of the tree of knowledge growing up through the Library, and brings a bit of   outdoors in. Although often used for whole-class reading lessons, but when not in     use anyone is welcome to curl up with a book here.




Zone 3: Quiet working area

This area spans the central section of the Library, from the downstairs non-fiction on the right across to the Careers Area on the far wall. Quiet, collaborative working or individual study is welcomed in this area during the day, although in the evening it is for silent, individual study only.

Zone 4: Computer area

The 24 computers at the back of the Library can be booked by staff for lessons but, if they are not in use and do not have yellow booking notices on them, any students studying in the Library are welcome to work on them. Playing computer games is only permitted between the end of the school day and the start of evening study.

There is also a free colour photocopier, printer and scanner in this area. Please ask at the issue desk if you need any help using this, and be mindful of the environmental impact when deciding what you need to print.You will need to input a code (1+student number) to release your printing.

Zone 5: Careers Department and Director of Studies' office

The Careers Department and Mrs Asher-Roche's office can be accessed through a door to the right of the Computer Area.

You will also find the pupil toilets at the back of the Library.

Collections housed in the Lower Library (D: on catalogue)


Fiction books aimed at readers in L1 to F3, but suitable for everyone.

Fiction books aimed at (but not limited to) teenagers and above.

Non-fiction books aimed at readers in L1 to F3 but also suitable for basic information for older readers. More in-depth non-fiction and all biographies and autobiographies can be found upstairs.

Located in the area by the tree.

Located in the centre of the Lower Library.

Located on the right-hand side of the Library just beyond the issue desk.

Shorter books, including dyslexia friendly formats and simplified versions of classics.

Comic-style books suitable for all year groups.

Picture books for our very youngest readers - usually children of staff or younger siblings.

Located just outside tree area.

Located just outside tree area.

Located just outside tree area.

Academic and recreational magazines an journals. These may only be used in the Library, not borrowed. Ask if you are interested in receiving back-copies as some are available. Some back-copies are also kept in the Library Stores (or Stack).

A wide selection of popular and classic films.

Films and TV series in languages other than English, often with subtitles in a variety of languages.

Location to be confirmed,

Located to the left-hand side of the Library just before the computer area.

Located to the left-hand side of the Library, behind the DVDs..

Audio books on CD.

Duplicate copies and book sets, specialist books which are less commonly used and back copies of magazines and newspapers. Books of particular interest and value to the school, for example books by or about current or former staff or pupils.

Located to the left-hand side of the Library, behind the DVDs.

Located in the Library Stores. Please ask a member of staff if you need an item from this collection.

Located in the Library Stores. Please ask a member of staff if you need an item from this collection.




Dictionaries in a variety of languages, and English thesauruses. For use in the Library only.

Books and brochures about universities, careers and GAP years. This material belongs to the Careers Department and cannot be loaned out by Library staff.



Located in the centre of the Library by the computer area.

Located on the right-hand side of the Library by the computer area.



Upper Library tour

The Upper Library is a very special space – people often say it feels more like a university library than a school library. A part of that is the books – this is our main non-fiction collection and there is something special about being in the presence of so much collected wisdom and knowledge. However, the main thing you will notice as you enter this space is that it the silence, even when it is very busy. Anyone is welcome to work up here – we have seating for up to 90 – and if you are signed up for supervised study you must work upstairs for the whole period, signing in with the member of staff on duty.



As you enter from the stairwell at the front of the Library, you will see the Refinery on your left. Unlike the Meetings Room downstairs, this classroom is generally used exclusively for inquiry-related lessons and activities.


If you need any help finding resources or using them in your work, there is usually a member of Library staff in the offices behind this desk who are always happy to help. Bound copies of past IB Extended Essays and TOK Essays can be found in the Reference section on the wall just beyond these offices.





The MYP Co-ordinator's (Mr Ashton's) Office is next to the back stairwell.

Collections housed in the Upper Library (U: on catalogue)

Non-fiction books aimed at (but not limited to) readers in F3 and above.
Includes all biographies and autobiographies, and the staff Professional Development section.

Bound copies of past EEs and TOK essays.

Dictionaries in a variety of languages, and other reference books in English. For use in the Library only.

Small books about big ideas. This collection includes the Penguin Great Ideas, Great Journeys and Pocket Penguins series, and the Guardian and Observer Great Interviews of the 20th Century and Great Speeches of the 20th Century series.
Covering a broad cross section of culture and history, this collection is a great place to browse if you're not sure what to read next.

These books are identified on the Library Catalogue with 'M' as the classmark.

Most of the books upstairs are in this section.

Located next to the Head of Library's office, on the back wall of the Upper Library (as you enter from the stairwells)

Located on a revolving stand next to the Refinery door, to the left as you enter the Upper Library from the main stairwell.

Note on the shelving of Language books:

Books in languages other than English – modern foreign languages and classical languages - are shelved slightly differently to other books in the Library. If we shelved them by topic there would be a random sprinkling of books in other languages throughout the collection, making them hard to find, and frustrating for those looking for books in English in these sections. So, for example, instead of shelving a book about philosophy but written in German at 190, in the Philosophy section, we put a G in front of the number and shelve it in the German section at G190. The letters used are:

F for French
G for German

I for Italian

S for Spanish
L for Latin
(L) for Greek

Z for other languages

This includes books written in English about the language or literature of another country. The section for each language is then arranged in number (or subject) order – it’s like having a miniature library for each language.

So if you are looking for a book on the catalogue and it has a letter in front of the number in the classmark, you need to look in the bay at the far back right-hand corner of the Upper Library (between classes 830 and 900). There are also boxes of books graded by reading level in some of these sections. This is mirrored downstairs, with easier readers down there. If you are a beginner reader in French, German or Spanish you might want to start with the downstairs books from this section – even if you are in the sixth or seventh form.

Rules and expectations

All areas of the Library

Mobile phones should be switched off or on silent. Do not take calls inside the Library, including the foyer and the stairwells.

No food or drink except water in sealable bottles.

Bags, coats and umbrellas should be left in the bag store. If you have valuable items you would like us to look after for you, please ask at the desk. Do not leave these in the bag store.

Lower Floor, including computer area (daytime)

Individual or quiet collaborative working or reading. Headphones may be used as long as the noise does not disturb others.

Upper Floor (daytime)

Silent, individual working at all times. Use of headphones is not permitted, except when your work requires it, in which case you must ask for permission from the Librarian on duty or member of staff supervising your study period.

Supervised Study: All students assigned to Supervised Study must work upstairs and must sign in at the start of the period with the member of staff supervising.

Upper and Lower Floor,  including computer area (evening)

Silent, individual working for all pupils on both floors. Headphones may be used as long as the noise does not disturb others.

Middle School pupils must work downstairs. Upper School pupils must work upstairs. Please arrive promptly at the start of evening study and stay until 9.15 to avoid disturbing others.

Computer use

Computers are for work only during the school day, including breaks and lunchtimes, and during prep.

Games may be played quietly in the downstairs computer area only between the end of the school day and the start of prep.

Normal term-time Library opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 08:30-21:15
Sat: 08:00-16:00
Sun: 14:00-18:00