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“I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”

— J.K. Rowling

The Sullivan Library is a popular and vibrant space in the school and plays a major role in school life, providing a warm and welcoming environment conducive for study, research or reading.

The Library is well stocked with non-fiction books to support the curriculum as well as a varied and up-to-date selection of fiction for all ages. There is a comprehensive reference section and many resources are available online. It works hard in supporting pupils and encouraging reading for pleasure and, throughout the year, new book deliveries ensure borrowers are provided with a wide range of reading material from new titles to the latest by a favourite author. All pupils are encouraged to share their love of reading and make recommendations and write reviews, thus always ensuring that we really are a school that reads. The Library is open daily to pupils and staff from 8:30am until 4:30pm.

While all pupils are guided to use the Library as a place for finding information, reading for pleasure is strongly encouraged, and promoted through both class and extra-curricular events and activities of which you can read below. Every class in Years 8 – 10 has a weekly Library period. Sixth form pupils can sign out of the Study to use the Library and SEON Room for research and private study. Year 8 and 9 classes are allocated a Library mentor who is a member of Sixth Form.

The Library has a soft-seating area, plus around 40 spaces at desks. It adjoins the SEON Room (Sullivan Educational Online Network) in which there are 32 networked PCs and here pupils can research, type and print their work. There are currently 13 I-pads available to students during Library periods, on which they complete Accelerated Reader quizzes.

Pupils can log in to Eclipse, the School Library system, where an online catalogue is available of all the resources in the Library. On this pupils can also renew and request books as well as read and write reviews, which they are encouraged to do frequently throughout the year and for which there is a monthly prize draw. The Eclipse homepage also provides lots of other useful information such as how to take Accelerated Reader quizzes, library rules, links to book websites, as well as features on authors and reviews of books. The most borrowed books are shown, as are new titles and more information on the ‘Book of the Week’ is given.

All pupils and staff are registered borrowers of the Library and can borrow up to 2 books at a time for 2 weeks.  The Librarian is available to assist with resource information as well as book choices.

Accelerated Reader

All pupils in Years 8 and 9 participate in the Accelerated Reading Programme. This programme is a powerful tool for monitoring and developing literacy skills while promoting reading for pleasure.  After completing tests to determine their reading age, pupils are guided towards books that will interest and challenge them. They are then encouraged to take a quiz as soon as they finish reading a book. Pupils require 85% answers correct in order to earn points. The greater the number of words in the book, the higher the number of points available. Progress charts are updated fortnightly so pupils can see how well they are improving. Prize draws for achieving 85%+ are made monthly and there are various challenges throughout the year to motivate, including acquiring stamps on a card for every 100% achieved which leads to winning a prize.

As the year progresses, words and their corresponding points are tallied, and certificates and prizes are awarded at the end of the summer term in a special awards assembly for those pupils who have achieved millionaire status. The class who has read the most words in each of the two year groups also wins a day out to Curry’s Fun Park, Portrush. The thought of this coveted prize ensures that competition between classes throughout the year is immense!

Book Clubs

Throughout the school year we have a number of different Book Clubs. In the Autumn term a group shadow the Royal Society in choosing the winning children’s science book of the year. Junior and Senior Book Clubs also commence in the Autumn term which meet throughout the year on a fortnightly / monthly basis. In the Spring and Summer terms the Carnegie Award Shadowing takes place and this year we look forward once again to taking part in the Northern Ireland Book Award which affords the opportunity to meet bookclubs from other schools at the grand finale.  Members are encouraged to read all the books and share their thoughts, both in group discussion and in written reviews. 

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Pupil Librarians

This team, which has now increased to 35 pupils from all year groups, assists throughout the year with the day-to-day running of the Library and is a tremendous help in keeping the it tidy and smooth-running. Duties include returning books and keeping shelves organized and tidy, sorting borrower loans and returns, adding new books to the Eclipse library system as well as preparing promotional displays, updating book records and writing book reviews. Any pupil interested in becoming a librarian should ask for an application form at the start of the new academic year.

Scholastic Book Fair

The annual Scholastic Book Fair takes place over the course of one week in the Autumn term. Pupils have the opportunity to browse and buy a range of new and classic titles. There are competitions to enter and prizes to be won and all books sold earn commission for the Library, which means we can buy lots more great books to read!


Throughout the year pupils are also able to order books through the school from Scholastic Book clubs.

Reading Recommendations

What to read?

To help you find the right book for you there are many posters around the Library to read. To choose a fiction book you should always check out the displays on the shelves as well as review boards. Folders at the Issue Desk guide you to new and favourite authors as well as what to read next as well as Reading Lists on Eclipse. And of course, ask the pupil librarians and Miss Hopkins! We are always keen to hear from pupils on new titles that they would recommend to others. Pupils are encouraged to review and recommend books frequently throughout the year.

Other Activities

As well as providing material for reading for pleasure and for studying, the Library also provides a focal point for many activities throughout the year. Regular competitions and quizzes, Readathon, promotions and displays ensure reading is always fun.

Around October we hold a Drop Everything and Read Day.  At the sounding of a bell, everyone is encouraged to put down their work, turn off PCs, and pick up a fiction or non-fiction book, magazine or newspaper and read for the remaining 20 minutes of the period. It is great to see virtually the whole school engaged in reading for pleasure (both pupils and staff) and very encouraging to hear so many speak positively about the experience.

World Book Day takes place in March and is a busy and enjoyable day. At lunchtime an Inter-House Book Quiz takes place. All pupils received a £1 book token, and various competitions and displays are going on in the Library, including a Book Swap.

Our Readathon launches on this day, running for the rest of month and involves all pupils from Years 8-10 raising money for sick children in hospital. Last year a magnificent £1,145 was raised.

You can continue to keep up –to-date with the Library and its events on a regular basis by following us on Twitter @SullivanUpp_Lib

Library Matters Newsletter

Our regular library newsletter will let you know all about what we in the library have been up to. Go on, have a look!

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