Welcome to St Catherine’s Senior School Library where ‘reading for pleasure’ and independent learning through purposeful private study are simultaneously encouraged by the large number of books available for loan and reference use.

There is also a collection of hard-copy magazines, as well as an online facility. These can be accessed from the ‘Oliver’ link above, where the specific logins for each of the E-Learning products are given. The library also subscribes to the daily papers, including 3 foreign language newspapers. The librarian is always happy to receive book recommendations and reservation requests.  Visit the reading portal page to find a list of suggested books. 

The highlight in the library calendar is ‘Book Week’, which celebrates literature in all its diverse forms throughout the school. The Librarians’ Literary lectures, a joint venture with the prep. school are held twice in the academic year and they also feed in to promoting books and authors to the pupils, thereby extending their ‘reading for pleasure’ choices.

The Library is open 7 days a week from 8am-9pm. It is staffed by the Senior School Librarian from 9-5.30pm Mon-Fri, and at other times by boarding and teaching staff. It operates two borrowing systems and pupils can borrow up to six books for 3 weeks. The library is available to Day Girls after school for homework.

Do come and visit the library to see the resources available to the pupils whilst at St Catherine’s.


Mrs Kathryn Bainbridge (Senior School)
Tel no: 01483 899613
Mrs Jacqui Sadler (Prep School)

Book Week

Book Week 4 - 8 March 2019 

We had a lively 2019 Book Week, focusing on the theme of ‘100 Books that Changed the World’. The theme is based on a book by Scott Christianson and Colin Salter, which contains 100 books that they believe have changed the way we view the world.

Book Week was launched at Mondays assembly with Mrs Bainbridge presenting a selection of the 100 books that have changed the world. The books she focused on were the ‘Torah’, ‘Aesop’s Fables’, ‘The Iliad and the Odyssey’, ‘Samuel Pepys’s Diary’, ‘The Wealth of Nations’, ‘David Copperfield’, ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘1984’ and ‘This Changes Everything’. Mrs Bainbridge gave more detail about the last book, ‘This Changes Everything’, which is a urgent rallying call for objective individual action on the environment and a recalibration of our aspirations if we are to reduce greenhouse gases and make an impact on climate change.   

On World Book Day, Thursday 7th March we held our annual Book Character Fancy Dress day, where girls and staff dressed up as their favourite book characters, myself being David Copperfield.

The photographs below show some of the costumes on display that day.

Book Mark design winner

  • Emily

Short story winner  

  • Middle School –   Ginny
  • Senior School – Emma

Librarians' Literary Lectures

Geraldine McCaughrean- 18th June 2019

Our most recent lecture was held in June when we welcomed double Carnegie-Medal winning author Geraldine McCaughrean.
  • Geralidine has won the Carnegie Medal twice. Once for ‘A Pack of Lies’ in 1988 and then last year for her historical adventure story, ‘Where The World Ends’. She has won many other awards over her long writing career.
  • Geraldine claims that what makes her ‘love writing is the desire to escape from an unsatisfactory world. Her motto is: do not write about what you know, write about what you want to know’.
Previous presenting Authors
  • Robin Stevens - October 2019
  • Geraldine McCaughrean - June 2019
  • Linda Newbery - January 2019
  • Katherine Woodfine - June 2018
  • Jo Cotterill - September 2017
  • Elen Caldecott - September 2016
  • Frances Hardinge - January 2016
  • Lauren St John - June 2015
  • Julia Golding - September 2014
  • Theresa Breslin - June 2014
  • Michelle Paver - September 2013
  • Lauren Child - June 2013
  • Marcus Sedgwick - March 2013
  • Philip Reeve - June 2012
  • Lauren Child - May 2012  

Library Link App

Connect to the school library 24/7

The Library Link mobile application is now available for you to search the catalogue, view and renew your library resources on the go. Connect to your school library through multiple devices, including smart phones, iPads, laptops, and more.

Library Link gives you the ability to:

  • Search for available resources
  • Check your alert messages for overdues or holds
  • View library information such as location and opening hours
  • Scan ISBNs or barcodes to automatically retrieve resources from the system
  • View the library's latest resources
  • View and place a renewal for your loaned items.

Available for Android and Apple devices

The applications can be downloaded for free from Google Play and iTunes. Go the websites below to view and download the ‘Library Link’ app.

To set up the APP insert the following URL:

Carnegie Medal

Shadowing the Carnegie Medal

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children.

  • It was established in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries."
  • Carnegie set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.
  • First awarded to Arthur Ransome for ‘Pigeon Post’, the winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.
  • The medal is awarded by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
  • The Upper 4 Library Monitors are busy reading their way through the current shortlist and will be voting for the one they think deserves the medal.

2019 Shortlist

  • 'The Land of Neverendings' Kate Saunders
  • 'A Skinful of Shadows' Frances Hardinge
  • 'Bone Talk' Candy Gourlay
  • 'Long Way Down' Jason Reynolds
  • 'Rebound' Kwame Alexander
  • 'The House with Chicken Legs' Sophie Anderson
  • 'Things a Bright Girl Can Do' Sally Nicholls
  • 'The Poet X' Elizabeth Acevedo

2019 Winner – 'The Poet X' Elizabeth Acevedo