Welcome to the library
The School Library Resource Centre (SLRC) plays a central and full role – both academically and socially – in the life of the school by supporting learning and teaching.
The library is on level 3 of the building, next to the Computing, English and Modern Languages departments.
It has a wide range of books, magazines and audiotapes, as well as Internet access.
The SLRC is staffed by two qualified librarians Ms Lindsay Nealon (Mon – Tue) and Ms Magda Wojnar (Wed – Fri), who share the job to provide a full time professional service
Mornings – Monday to Friday
8.15am – 8.40am
Lunchtimes – Monday to Friday
1.30pm – 1.50pm
* exclusive to Bookgroup and other clubs on some days
After School – Monday to Thursday
3.30pm – 3.40pm
After School Friday
1.10pm – check with librarian
Staff and pupils are automatically registered as library users when they join St Thomas’
No cards are needed.
Books are issued for a period of 2 weeks
The loan period can be extended if required.
There are no limits on staff loans.
Reminders for overdue books are sent out via English Teachers.
Letters will be sent home after a few weeks of having overdue books and money for replacement copies sought.
As other people are often waiting for these items, please try to bring them back on time Thank you !
Wireless Internet access is available.
Computers should be re-installed soon.
Literacy Across Learning
The Librarians and English Department have developed a reading programme (Book Bingo) that aims to teach and develop literacy skills. All S1 andS2 English classes have one period timetabled in the Library every fortnight.
Pupils are encouraged to read for enjoyment and to take part in literary activities such as Roald Dahl Day, National Poetry Day, etc.
We want you to enjoy reading!
There are Book Groups for pupils and staff, and pupils are encouraged to review books for Teen Titles magazine.
Trips are organised to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other author events.
We run the following clubs:
S1- S3 Book Group
Staff Book Group
Our school has links with other libraries in the city. Everyone is encouraged to join their local, public library and staff and senior pupils can use University libraries and the National Library of Scotland for reference purposes too. Books can often be borrowed from other schools via the Librarian. An inter-library loan facility is also available for ‘Higher’ and academic texts.
You can access free Electronic Resources by registering at Edinburgh City Libraries.
You will find more information on the website below or ask the Librarian
There are more free resources available online and you can find details in our guide here: Online Resources Guide
For ideas about what to read, there are many websites, including:
Our librarians update Reading Lists annually.
You can access them below or get printed copies from the school library.
School Database of Educational Articles
You can use this database The list of articles to search for articles useful for various school subjects.
For more information and how to access them online, please refer to our Online Resources Guide
August 2018 in Library
There has been lots happening in the Library already this term. Some S2, S3 and S5 pupils visited the Edinburgh International Book Festival, hearing talks by authors Sarah Crossan and Clemence Beauvais , Chris Priestley and Jason Reynolds, and Keren David and Lucy Christopher. These were all lively and entertaining sessions, with many of our pupils buying books and getting their photos taken with the authors afterwards.
During the Book Festival, Ms Nealon and three S2 girls – Ruby Soutar, Breagh Shaw and Naomi Simpson – also attended the Teen Titles party and had a great evening mingling with writers such as Theresa Breslin, Lari Don and Kirkland Ciccione.
Bookgroups will be re-starting soon. S1-3 will be practising their memory skills for the Kids ’Lit Quiz and Staff Bookgroup will be tackling the novel ‘The Bookseller of Kabul’. Pupils will also be reviewing books for Teen Titles magazine.
January – April 2018 in Library
It has been another busy term in the Library. We had displays for Fairtrade Fortnight and International Women’s Day and activities to raise awareness of ‘the power of words’ on Holocaust Memorial Day.
Liaison with Place2Be resulted in all S1-6 pupils visiting the Library during Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on ‘being ourselves’ and inspirational people. S1 were also involved in activities related to World Autism Awareness Week in March.
The school celebrated World Book Day with £1 book tokens, a quiz and a ‘Where’s Wally’ hunt. Mrs Watt’s and Miss McClelland’s S1 classes, and members of S1-3 bookgroup, also enjoyed a tie-in visit from author Jonathan Meres (see photos below). He brought the ‘human touch’ to writing, with an entertaining and energetic talk about his life, career and books . This was enjoyed by all who attended and their enthusiasm was appreciated by Jonathan, who later tweeted: ‘Just spoke to the loveliest bunch of 12yos, at St Thomas of Aquin’s High School, in Edinburgh. Relax, everyone. The future’s in safe hands.’
Bookgroups have continued to meet regularly. S1-3 were delighted to cast their votes for the eventual winner of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize , ‘Children of Icarus’ by Caighlan Smith , and staff reads have included biographies by politician Alan Johnson and actor Bill Paterson.
Pupils continue to be keen reviewers for Teen Titles magazine . Their current reading includes fictional accounts of the Mona Lisa painting, life as Henry VIII’s daughter and super-hero bees!
Visit from author Jonathan Meres
September – December 2017 in Library
It has been a busy time in the Library, with visits to the National Library, participation in the Kids’ Lit Quiz and the promotion of various events.
In November, Ms Wojnar accompanied S6 pupils on a visit to the National Library of Scotland, where they were able to see ‘behind the scenes’ and access resources suitable for their Advanced Higher topics. On the same day, a group of S1 pupils travelled to Liberton High School to represent St Thomas’ in the East of Scotland round of the Kids’ Lit Quiz. They won several individual and team prizes and a fun afternoon was had by all!
Dyslexia Awareness Week was marked by several events in school. There was a display of resources in the Library, a popular ‘ find the blue ribbon’ ( the symbol of Dyslexia Awareness) treasure hunt for pupils, and a staff coffee morning to raise funds for Dyslexia resources.
Book Week Scotland took place from 27 November – 3 December. Staff and pupils were asked to vote for their favourite Scottish book characters, with the top three being Harry Potter (the author lives in Edinburgh !), Dennis the Menace and Katie Morag. There was also a ‘reading lunch’ and a booksale , stocked and staffed by Blackwell’s Bookshop.
In preparation for Christmas, pupils from SfL helped to adorn the library’s tree with decorations representing books and books characters; other pupils wrote about the books they’d like to give or receive for Christmas.
Pupils continued to enthusiastically review books for Teen Titles magazine, especially the members of S1-3 Bookgroup who are also working their way through the titles shortlisted for the Scottish Teen Book Award. Staff Bookgroup are also keeping busy; their recent reads have included a biography about growing up in 1970s Lanarkshire and a graphic novel.
In August 2017, Ms Nealon and many of our pupils enjoyed trips to the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Ms Laverick and an S5 group enjoyed meeting The Last Poets, both during their lively and informative session on stage, and in private for a group photo.
Mrs Macdonald’s S2 class were entertained by author Darren Shan, talking about his prolific writing and reading extracts from his work. This proved very popular, although some felt the descriptions were a bit too gory for lunchtime
Ms Murray’s S3 class were treated to two authors – Lauren James and Philip Reeve – discussing time, travel and life on other planets. Judging by the number of pupils who subsequently bought the authors’ books, this talk was a great success.
Last year, we had a busy time in the Library with displays and activities to support Burns Night, Fairtrade Fortnight, International Women’s Day and International Mother Languages Day, William Shakespeare’s Birthday and China project.
On 1st June about fifty S3 pupils from Moderns Studies department took part in the ‘Brexit, the EU and Your Future’ interactive workshop. It was run by YouthLink Scotland, in partnership with Involver and the European Societies UK. Pupils had a chance to learn about the merits and demerits of the EU and Brexit
This year’s World Book Day was celebrated with a quiz for S1/2 pupils and a ‘dress as your favourite book character’ day. This was fun, with pupils and staff going to great lengths to turn out in costumes linked to Where’s Wally, the Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables … and Harry Potter, of course!
On the ‘literary’ front, Mr McNally’s S1 English class had a great session with author, Lari Don, who came into school to talk about her books and her inspiration for writing them. It was a lively and worthwhile session; the pupils took part enthusiastically and many went off to read her books afterwards.
Library and Support for Learning staff worked together in March to promote World Autism Awareness Week to S1 & S2 pupils. During Library visits, pupils were able to read about autism and two S2 pupils spoke to the classes about how autism had affected them.
In February, the Library worked jointly with Place2Be to promote Mental Health Awareness Week – pupils from all year-groups came to the Library from PSE to read up on issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, to reflect on what some of the issues meant to them and to discuss what could be offered in terms of support and understanding.
St Thomas’ pupils have continued to contribute to Teen Titles magazine – 9 pupils appeared in issue 67 –and the latest batch of books are currently being read by our enthusiastic reviewers. Senior pupils have been reading Michael Grant’s ‘Gone’ during meetings of the Book-to-Film club and titles discussed by Staff bookgroup have ranged from the graphic novel ‘Kick Ass’ to the short stories of Alice Munro.