Pupil librarians

…completely detached from the syllabus

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A new voice for our blog today. Harry, one of the Yr 13 boys, shares his thoughts on the library:

The knowledge that can be found in books is the primary source of their appeal, novels are important too but my interest is more often than not directed towards the non-fiction shelves. The library is valuable not only for reading around syllabuses, especially as a first point of reference for individual studies such as history coursework (the stock of Very Short Introductions in particular), but also as a place to generally broaden horizons in a way completely detached from the syllabus. Tim Marshall’s ‘Prisoners of Geography’ for example provides a fascinating interpretation of geopolitics based on a geographic determinism that, while dubious at times, is rather illuminating and certainly thought provoking. The reference section is also important, feeding a fondness for apparently useless facts and obscure information, dictionaries of quotations or subjects as esoteric as the burial places of famous people are always wonderful diversions. Building a wider knowledge and understanding of the world, with history as a main focus, has therefore been the biggest influence that books have had on my life from a young age to now and in the future.


It’s been busy

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Lent has been a busy time here in the Wodehouse Library.

Year 11s spent two of their wellbeing lessons with us learning about plagiarism avoidance using the study skills books and the Encyclopedia Britannica online resource.

Year 9 boys also visited the library for two lessons to work on their history projects. During these lessons boys used Ormiston (the Dulwich College Register) and the Dulwich College War Record, Ancestry.com and other online resources to research an OA who was killed during World War 1.

This year’s Free Learning Day for year 10 saw the Library and Archives team up to deliver 5 sessions exploring Christopher Marlowe’s connections to Dulwich College, conspiracy theories, fake news and fact-checking.

As part of the Trinity Schools Group, Dulwich College hosted the TSBA ceremony which saw author Stewart Foster win with his novel Bubble Boy.

We’ve maintained the usual displays of fiction and non-fiction in and around the library, added new stock and been glad of the continued help of prefects and pupil librarians with on-going weeding and tidying projects. We’re looking forward to seeing both boys and staff over the next few days choosing holiday reading!

Have a great Easter break, everyone, and see you in the Summer Term.


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This year’s jolly book tree in the Wodehouse Library was made up of 116 items.

The winner is Alexander Poli of 6R – many congratulations to you, Alexander!

Last minute entries at the Pupil Librarians' Christmas Party
Last minute entries at the Pupil Librarians’ Christmas Party

Reference and Study Skills Sections

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There have been a few changes in the Wodehouse Library this Michaelmas term.

Most noticeably, the Reference Section has been reduced and some shelving removed. We know that for some of you the leisure to browse some of the more obscure dictionaries whilst awaiting your printing will be felt keenly and we offer as an alternative the headlines from The Day which are posted each day on the Issue Desk, or why not chat to the merry librarians!

Our second exciting change concerns the Study Skills collection, which has been moved into the newly freed up space in the Reference Section. We hope that this move will raise awareness of the many useful items which support teaching and learning at DC.

One of the key things to remember about the Study Skills collection is that you don’t have to read any of the books cover to cover. Simply dip into relevant sections and learn what you need. Along the way you can pick up some decent advice about how to overcome obstacles and gain some reassurance that you are not the only one to have struggled to write or plan an essay or craft the most persuasive argument ever.

And here it is! Many thanks to Charles Bird, Arthur Cheung and Percy Chan for the help moving the books and creating the display.

“Only those who had been through battle could really know…”

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Starting next week, Year 9 boys will be coming into the Wodehouse Library to work on their World War I history project.

We asked a couple of the pupil librarians to delve in to the new display of World War I books and find something interesting to share…

Nadzirul, a year 12 boy, found his eye drawn to J. M. Winter’s book World War I : the experience and suggested that the following encapsulates the title and the intention of the book:

“Only those who had been through battle could really know how human beings could be squashed like ants or rearranged like ‘ghastly dolls’, as the British writer Siegfried Sassoon put it. Many soldiers developed a defensive callousness after having seen dismembered corpses time and again. What ex-soldiers recalled in later years varied substantially. In R. H. Mottram’s Spanish Farm Trilogy (1924-27), it was not a legless man but a headless man who continued to haunt the central character. Others blotted such images out of their minds for ever.”

Winter, J. M. World War I : the experience, p.146. London: Angus Books Ltd; 2006

These words accompany a photograph, one of three on the same double page spread, that emphasize the horror of war.

For Ayman, a year 9 boy already working on the project, the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Guide book World War I stood out because of its usefulness for different parts of the project requirements. In particular the technology and the weaponry used, all illustrated and annotated. The book offers bite-sized chunks of information which many year 9 boys should find helpful throughout their work on this important history project.

You can find the new display in the Wodehouse Library, near the Issue Desk in the IT Area and, of course, you can check their availability for loan using LibCat.