We connect all levels of readers with books they love.
From students’ earliest years at Packer, they come to the library to encounter the amazing world of story. They are invited to interact with librarians who take time to know them as individuals. While this visible “face” of Packer’s libraries is at the heart of our work, our impact is more far-reaching.
Our Hart and Blackburne Libraries are a pillar of Packer’s academic program, offering outstanding and inclusive collections of fiction and nonfiction books with meaningful connections to students’ studies and to their own experiences. We provide daily access to authoritative and up-to-date digital research tools to both students and faculty, on and off campus. We collaborate with teachers in all divisions, delivering information literacy instruction in our libraries and classrooms. Located on the first floor of the Front Hall, our libraries are in every sense central to our students’ experience.
Expressions of deep absorption are everywhere in the Hart Library, a beloved space for Preschool and Lower School students, who visit in small groups every week. The Hart’s collection of nearly 25,000 volumes, hand-selected by our two full-time librarians, has plenty to inspire every young reader at Packer. Students often come before or after school with parents and caregivers to borrow additional books or simply spend some time reading together.
The Hart’s librarians come to know every Preschooler and Lower Schooler individually, which allows them meet our younger readers where they are. In conjunction with classroom teachers and our Lower School reading specialists, our librarians work with children on skills, vocabulary, and word study. They develop book lists both for summertime reading and for year-long reading, as well as personalized lists of “just-right books” tailored to individual students’ interests. Our librarians also arrange visits from well-known children’s authors whose works reflect diverse subjects and perspectives, so students can build an appreciation for the process of writing as well as imagine themselves among the ranks of published writers.
Students visit the Blackburne Library beginning in Fifth Grade. Our librarians host the “Drop Everything and Read” (DEAR) program for Fifth and Sixth Graders and curate reading lists for our student-driven book groups across the Middle and Upper School. Beginning in Ninth Grade, our librarians teach Upper School students research skills, such as using databases to identify and evaluate sources.
The Blackburne’s reserved section of textbooks for students and rich offering of online resources, available at school and at home, make it an essential part of daily life for many Middle and Upper School students. The Blackburne is not a silent library, and because our curriculum emphasizes collaborative and project-based learning, small groups of students often come here to spread out across our tables with books and laptops, as well as poster board and markers.
Continuing the Hart Library’s beloved visiting author program, the Blackburne Library sponsors a series that connects with the history curriculum in Seventh and Eighth Grade as well as an annual visit to the Upper School Chapel by an author whose work exemplifies Packer’s mission.