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Rye St Antony’s King Library – Where Reading Comes Alive

Welcome to the Rye St Antony King Library, a place to learn, explore, exchange information, and of course read. We are immensely proud of our modern, well-equipped and purpose-built library with its large picture windows and carefully thought-out spaces.

The King Library, opened by actor and author Tony Robinson in 2012, is so much more than a modern, quiet and spacious learning environment – it is one of the main hubs of the school where many interesting and exciting activities are based.

Since becoming Librarian for the school in September 2011, I have introduced the concept of the library as a place to try new experiences, swap ideas as well as books and become involved in the library as a community through reading groups and hands-on activities.

I strongly believe that a library is just as much about people as it is about books and here at Rye we like to encourage a welcoming, stimulating and intellectual environment. 

Just as importantly, learning how to locate information, both in print and on the internet, is essential preparation for independent study at university. Helping individual pupils to develop their research skills is an important part of our library service at Rye.

Books are my passion and I wanted to become a Librarian for as long as I can remember as I wanted to be able to share my love of reading and literature with others. Having been brought up without television (rare these days I know), the only thing to do was to read so I quickly immersed myself in books.

I went on to take a course in Librarianship and a degree in Translation at University and before coming to Rye, I have always worked in a book related role.

Although I originate from France, I have always loved English Literature and my first ever favourite book was by Enid Blyton when I was aged six.

In the library I am ably assisted by Cheryl Birdseye, a Doctoral student in early modern English Literature who is currently researching the depiction of law and gender in Renaissance theatres. In her spare time Cheryl runs a Ranger unit for Girlguiding UK and helps with a local theatre group for members of Scouting and Girlguiding. Like me, Cheryl loves reading, as well as arts and crafts.

Both Cheryl and I love working in the school library where we can share our love of books and show children and teenagers how essential they are in our lives, and how they can also still be fun and interesting in our wired world where information can be found at the touch of a button.

By reading books, we become actors in our own head – making the story our own and giving it our own interpretation.

By reading regularly we can:

In Rye St Antony’s library, reading comes alive and pupils develop a lifelong love of reading.

Let’s take a look around…

Florence Benfeghoul

School Librarian

Cheryl Birdseye

Assistant Librarian

Library Facilities

When I joined Rye St Antony in September 2011, I was immediately involved in the planning of the new library with a team of architects.

The purpose-built King Library, named after one of the school’s founders Ivy King, was completed in February 2012 and we were delighted to welcome actor, broadcaster and author Tony Robinson to officially open it.

Our library is a peaceful but inspiring place which includes private study areas, large tables to revise and spread your work out on and a carpeted reading corner for group or individual reading. Big picture windows let in plenty of natural light and look over the school’s beautiful 12 acre grounds. Above all, library is designed to be a pleasant and stimulating area in which to study, read and spend time.

Our friendly team of librarians are available between the hours of 8.30 am and 6.30pm to help both pupils and staff with advice. We love to bounce ideas with both pupils and staff and offer personalised reading choices to everyone. We encourage pupils to help out in the Library and this counts towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The Library is stocked with over 12,000 books, magazines, newspapers and an extensive collection of CDs and DVDs. Pupils and staff can access over 10,000 websites via the Library catalogue on every subject. We also have eight computer workstations linked to the internet, three iPads, three Kindles, a scanner, a colour printer and points for laptops. Additional facilities are also available in the nearby ICT Suite.

Each year, over 600 new documents are added to the stock, mostly recommended by teaching staff in each subject area. Many books are purchased specifically to support school courses including GCSEs and AS/A Level subjects and we also run a popular request and reservation service. The wide range of revision guides and study skills resources is constantly updated. We like to listen to students’ needs and requirements when purchasing new books and always welcome suggestions.

Students at Rye St Antony are encouraged keep up with the latest thinking and developments in their chosen subjects through magazines including BBC Focus Science and Technology, BBC History, The Biologist, Geographical, History Today, New Scientist, National Geographic and New Internationalist. For lovers of fiction, the library offers an extensive collection including classic, prize-winning and popular modern literature for both adults and teenagers. Non-fiction sections include the Humanities, Biography, Religion, Languages, Science and PSHE to name but a few. 

Library Activities

The Rye St Antony Library is always a busy place and we aim to encourage a stimulating and interesting environment.

We regularly create colourful displays and themed activities designed to encourage interaction and thought as well as promoting reading and books. Library lessons for Year 5 and Year 6 pupils are held once a week. Year 7 pupils also come to the library once a fortnight for Accelerated Reader sessions. 

Library activities include:

  • Reading groups for all ages
  • Book sales
  • Accelerated reading programme to encourage progress
  • Writing competitions
  • Open Days
  • Library ‘sleepovers’
  • Talks and reading aloud sessions