Library Resource Centre

Our overall aim is to provide an effective educational and recreationalSixth Form studying in Library resource in support of the staff and curriculum for the benefit of students during their formative years at Bishop's Stortford College.

All new students and staff attend induction sessions during their first term. On-going instruction is given to students when they use the library for research work in small groups as part of their lessons throughout the school.

Students are welcome to come in and browse or study at any time, including break and lunchtimes. There is always help available, with two qualified librarians and a team of evening and weekend assistants.

You can visit the College Library website, where you can log in and check what is available in the Senior School library, what you have on loan, renew your loans and reserve new titles. Please ask the Library for a username and password before using this service.

The Library is used by pupils and staff of both Senior School and Sixth Form for:

Individual study or research Doing Prep in the evening or off games
Group study or research during lessons Using reference books
Finding leisure reading Using computers and Internet, and printout
Reading newspapers & magazines Making a photocopy

The Sixth Form Book Group meet in the Sixth Form Centre after school.

Library Opening Hours

Monday      08.30 - 17.00 19.00 - 21.30         
Tuesday 08.30 - 17.00 19.00 - 21.30
Wednesday 08.30 - 17.00 19.00 - 21.30
Thursday 08.30 - 17.00 19.00 - 21.30
Friday 08.30 - 17.00 19.00 - 21.30
Saturday 08.30 - 12.45 13.45 - 15.15

Library Resources

Resources in the Senior School Library include:

  • 13,000 subject & fiction books
  • A computer suite with internet*
  • Computerised library catalogue & issue system
  • Reference Books, Newspapers & Periodicals
  • Two Laser Printers & Scanner
  • Audiobooks, DVD Library & Music CDs
  • Photocopier - available to use with permission from the Librarian. Copyright laws should be observed at all times
  • Archives
  • Local Information
  • Audio Visual Resources - television with video and DVD which is available for educational use. Headphones and remote controls are available at the desk. 

*Computers are available for students' use in the library subject to the rules of the ICT Department. There are network and laptop printers and a scanner.  The Internet is available on all the library workstations. Students may email during breaktime, lunchtime and after prep at 8.30pm.

Fiction & Non Fiction Books

Non fiction is arranged in numerical order using the Dewey Decimal system used in most public libraries. Biographies and autobiographies are shelved in their own subject field, ie biographies of sportsmen are shelved in the sport section. Geography books are shelved separately as are Travel and Media Studies books. Local History and information is shelved by the Librarian's desk.

Fiction books are upstairs on the Gallery. They are shelved in alphabetical order of the author's surname.

Reference Books, Newspapers & Periodicals

We have a good selection of standard reference books on most subjects. Local history, population statistics for this and neighbouring counties, leaflets about local leisure pursuits are also available for reference.

We take six daily newspapers and the weekly local papers, as well as papers from the USA. There are periodicals for academic as well as leisure interests. Staff and students are welcome to come in and read them at break and lunchtimes.  

History of the Library

Historical records and items to do with the school's history are upstairs on the Gallery. We also have a collection of books written by Old Stortfordians.

Bishop's Stortford College was founded in 1868 and there are many artefacts which have been collected over the years, including all copies of the school magazine 'The Stortfordian' since its first issue.

On one side of the upper gallery there are four glass fronted wall cabinets which display some of our memorabilia, and the rest is stored in cupboards or in the archive room.

The Old Stortfordian book collection (books written by or about Old Stortfordians or the College) is now included on the main library computer catalogue and books are displayed on the gallery.

Photographs, concert and theatre programmes, sporting events, etc., have been sorted into labelled boxes, and the photograph albums and other donated items are carefully stored. All items are readily available on request. Many photographs are available in digital form.

The librarians receive frequent visits, telephone calls and letters from Old Stortfordians and others researching their family history.

The History of the Library

The library was built in 1936 as a permanent memorial to F.S. Young, Headmaster of the College from 1900 to 1931. Its architect was Mr R.C. Foster. It was administered by a succession of masters until 1991 when the Governors made the decision to modernise it and employ a full-time librarian who took up the appointment in September 1992.

This was the beginning of a policy designed to provide the whole College with an Information Resources Centre second to none in the area.

Traditionally the library has been the central resource to access information largely through paper, i.e. books, periodicals and newspapers. Since 1992 it has been refurbished, the impressive high-ceilinged room was completely renovated with carpeting and low chairs enhancing the panelled walls and oak shelving to provide a welcoming and pleasing environment in which students are encouraged to study or read. A fully computerised catalogue and barcode issue system was installed and major expansion took place in the Reference and Fiction sections. ICT workstations were also installed to supplement the extended range of paper-based information. A wide range of newspapers, journals and magazines covering both leisure and academic interests were made available.

With the unveiling of the 1995/96 Development Appeal the Governors decided that Phase 2, the Library Expansion should go ahead. This involved the expansion and updating of the library's current computer provision, its stock of books and its audio-visual resources. Linked galleries and a walkway on both wings of the library at first-floor level provided additional space for mobile and fixed bookshelves and also for display cases containing the College's extensive and unique Archive collection. The 'new look' Library Resource Centre now has additional study facilities, computers, internet and email facilities, and a DVD and CD library.

Since April 1997 there have been two qualified librarians assisted by evening/weekend supervisors, and between them they ensure that the library is fully supervised for 70 hours a week to provide research facilities and assistance for students and staff.