The Joseph Whitaker School Library

Welcome to The Joseph Whitaker School Library! This light, bright, spacious area can be used for private study, research, reading, homework and as a classroom. It’s a great place to learn, relax and find things out. This page will tell you everything you need to know about using the Library – and we will soon have a special Library website with links to some fantastic resources, too. Keep your eyes peeled!

Joseph Whitaker School - photo by David Baird

Library Staff

Mrs B Holgate – School Librarian (Maternity Leave)
Mrs J Carroll – School Librarian



Library Access and Opening Hours

The library is open throughout the school day at the following times

Monday                               8:00am – 12:15pm            12:30pm – 4:00pm

Tuesday                              8:00am – 12:15pm            12:30pm – 4:00pm

Wednesday                         8:00am – 12:15pm            12:30pm – 4:00pm

Thursday                             8:00am – 12:15pm            12:30pm – 4:00pm

Friday                                  8:.00 – 12.15pm                12.30pm – 3.30pm

Students are welcome to use the area for personal study, research, homework and reading. Joseph Whitaker School - photo by David BairdWe operate a pass system at lunchtime so all years are able to use the library every day, with 60 passes being available for students to sign out each day. The library is open every lunchtime from 12:30 – 1pm. In addition to the main library we have a designated area for careers and 16 PCs for use for homework and research.

Loans and Borrowing

The library is central to the development of students’ reading and information skills, enabling them to become independent learners. It is used for lessons which promote research skills including the finding, handling, using and evaluating of information. We strongly encourage staff and students to borrow books and we welcome suggestions for new resources. The following loans terms are in force in our library:


Number of Loans Length of Loan

7 and 8

2 items

2 weeks

9, 10 and 11

4 items

3 weeks

6th form 10 items

4 weeks

Staff 30

One Term

If students have not finished their book within the allotted time they should come and renew the item on or before the date it is due back. Students are able to reserve items they are unable to find or if they are out on loan.

Library Lessons

There is a library lesson within the English curriculum once a fortnight during Years 7 and 8. These lessons focus on activities based around reading and information skills, with an aim to promote freedom of choice within their abilities. We use the Accelerated Reader scheme to improve students’ reading levels, in a structured way. This is done through a motivating programme of reading and computer generated book quizzes for which students are rewarded for passing. Quizzes should be taken as soon as the book is finished in order to maximize their potential for doing well. Parents can view the progress their children are making by accessing Home Connect. Support from parents is essential to the success of the scheme and parents can help by making sure that their children read every day, in order to practice those essential literacy skills on a regular basis. Whilst routine is important, reading should also be enjoyable. Time spent at home reading will help children to make faster progress.

Click here to access the quizzes; the username is first initial followed by the first four letters of the surname, the password is the child’s initials.

Joseph Whitaker School - photo by David Baird

Extra-curricular activities

Library Leaders

Year 8, 9 and 10 students are invited to help out in the library during lunchtimes. The library leaders scheme requires students to commit to one lunchtime per week, when they will help with issuing and returning books, shelving and tidying, processing new books amongst other responsibilities. This allows students to take ownership of their library and develops their leadership skills.

Book Club

On Tuesday after school from 3.05-4.00pm we run a Book Club. This is open to all students from Years 7 to 11 and encompasses a wide range of activities from quizzes and puzzles to shadowing book awards and writing reviews.

Manga Club

This is a new club which meets on a Monday lunchtime. Students get to discuss the Manga series they are reading, draw and create their own Manga characters.

Joseph Whitaker School - photo by David Baird



Our library has a wide selection of children’s, young adult and adult fiction, right from the classics, bestsellers and popular choices through to contemporary award winners, graphic novels and cult classics. Students are actively encouraged to suggest books for us to buy for the library. We have a small collection of DVDs, most of which are relevant to our GCSE and A-Level English, Media and Modern Foreign Language courses.


We have a collection of good quality non-fiction books which supports the curriculum and promotes cross-curricular activity, and this is an area currently under development. Students are always welcome to borrow books for further reading and we often send out book boxes for classes who are engaging in research and independent learning.


Online Resources

The school subscribes to websites which students can access at home to help them with their homework:

Issues Login: Whitaker, Password: 3838

We have a series of high quality cross-curricular resource books for 14- to 18-year-olds. The Issues series:

  • examines a wide range of contemporary social issues, from illegal drugs to euthanasia
  • stimulates debate, showcasing facts and opinions from many different sources
  • encourages critical thinking in an accessible format.

Complete Issues Student Login: JoWhit1, Password: Issues1

This is an interface for searching a 3 different resources published by Carel Press. These resources are:

‘Factfile’ – An annual full colour book and interactive online resource; which contains vital, interesting and relevant statistics for teachers, librarians and students.  It covers a wide range of topics, issues and up-to-date controversies.

Essential Articles – An annual full colour book and interactive online resource, Over 100 articles, picked from thousands, guaranteed to spark debate on key issues and controversies, Covers a wide range of topics from a variety of viewpoints.

Key Organisations – An annual guide to thousands of organisations, pressure groups, international agencies, government, universities, charities & theatres.

As well as being accessible online, all of these resources are up to date and available in the library. If you think it would benefit students to have some training on using these resources do let me know, particularly for the incoming Year 10 students.

Newspapers and Journals

In addition, the library subscribes to

  • The Telegraph
  • The Guardian
  • The I
  • The Mansfield Chad
  • The TES

as well as journals such as the

  • Philip Allan Updates (published specifically for A-Level students)
  • Art Review
  • Ethical Consumer
  • Dancing Times
  • School Sports
  • BBC Focus
  • Teen Titles
  • TBK Mag

There are also available ‘teen magazines’ with appropriate content for students to read at lunchtimes.

For more information on our school library or for links to resources please, click here for the Joseph Whitaker School website.

Book Review and Recommendations Websites    Good review site for books for boys      Great site for finding out new books by authors      Guardian reviews of children’s books       Excellent book review site for boy’s fiction      Site with lots of reviews, free extracts to download     Videos of authors talking about their books     Reviews by and for teenagers      All the latest news on books for teenagers     Good for book reviews for children’s books      Register to read the stories      Books for teens from the Book Trust