Welcome to The Joseph Whitaker School Library! The library is central to the development of students’ reading and information skills, enabling them to become independent learners. This light, bright, spacious area can be used for reading, personal study and homework, and individual, small group or whole class research. It’s a great place to learn, relax and find things out.

Library Staff


Mrs B Holgate – School Librarian


Mrs Holgate is a qualified librarian and information professional who is available to help with homework, assist with research, give book recommendations and any other study questions you may have.

Opening Times

The library is open Monday to Wednesday from 8am to 4pm and students are warmly welcome to visit during their free time in school. Students are welcome to use the area for personal study, research, homework and reading.

Resources and Lending

Our library collection has over 10,000 books including 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 but growing collection of DVDs, audiobooks and graphic novels.


There are also 16 PCs and 20 netbooks available for homework and research. We have a collection of good quality non-fiction books which supports the curriculum and promotes cross-curricular activities. Staff and students are encouraged to borrow items from the library and the following loan terms are in place:

Years 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 items One Term

If students have not finished their book within the allotted time they can come and renew the item. Students are able to reserve items they are unable to find or if they are out on loan.

Online Resources

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


Issues – Login: Whitaker, Password: 3838
A series of high quality cross-curricular resource books for 14- to 18-year-olds, examining a range of social issues. The Issues series:


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, statistics on a range of social issues, Essential Articles, over 100 articles, key issues and controversies, covers a wide range of topics from a variety of viewpoints. Key Organisations, lists thousands of organisations, pressure groups, international agencies, government, universities, charities & theatres.

Library Lessons and Accelerated Reader

Students in Year 7 and 8 have a fortnightly library lesson. These lessons focus on activities based around reading and information skills, with an aim to promote freedom of choice and reading for pleasure. 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. Click here to access the quizzes, login details are available from the library. In addition, to the timetabled lessons, the library is available for research lessons.


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