The Library dates back to 1602 when at the “earnest request” of the School’s third headmaster, John Tovey, “the Library at the Free School was begun”. The rules of the Library stated “that there be dictionaries chained in the school for general use of scholars”. It was both a school and a public library and, as such, was one of the first ever public libraries in the country. Unfortunately, the splendid collection of books donated by former pupils, the City’s gentry and even visiting royalty was lost as a result of various moves and storage in damp conditions. There is mention of 200 books remaining in 1830 and of old books being sold for £70 in 1885 after the School’s move to Warwick Road.

In 1958, the Memorial Library was opened and it is dedicated to the memory of the former pupils (Old Coventrians) who died in the twentieth century’s two World Wars. In 2002, the School celebrated the Library’s quatercentenary and in 2013, the Library was extended and improved by the addition of the J B Vent Memorial Archive further to the former teacher’s generous bequest.


The Library is open daily from 9.00 am – 5.30 pm. Many pupils use the Library for private study during lesson times and they are expected to quietly get on with their work. Pupils have open access to the Library at break and lunch during which times the atmosphere is more relaxed, but still purposeful as pupils drop in to do their homework, use a computer or read a book.

This year, as part of its role in promoting School-wide literacy, the Library is piloting a Year 7 Reading Scheme, which will culminate with the annual Readathon in aid of children’s charities.

The Library’s resources are under constant review to ensure that they support teaching and learning for the whole School. We are in the process of improving the service we offer by developing digital resources which will be available remotely to all pupils. Library resources currently include books and DVDs for reference and loan, iPads for loan within the Library, networked computers, printing, photocopying and scanning. Thanks to generous funding from the Parents’ Association, the Library now has Kindles available for loan to pupils.

From 4 to 5.30 pm the Library is the location of Aftercare provision for pupils in Years 7 to 11. Aftercare is free, fully supervised and there is no need to book a place for your child. Pupils are required to sign the Aftercare Register on arrival and departure. During Aftercare, the relaxed but purposeful atmosphere is maintained to enable pupils to get on with their homework. Food and drink are not allowed in the Library at any time and pupils are advised to have a drink and a snack at 4 p.m. before they go to Aftercare.

What we do:

The Library is a learning resource centre which supports teaching and learning across the whole School.


Librarian and Aftercare Supervisor: Miss H Cooper
Aftercare Supervisor:

Mrs M Lee

Miss Cooper was one of the first girls to attend the School in 1975 and she runs the Library with the help of a team of Pupil Librarians.


As a thank you to Pupil Librarians for all their hard work, there is a trip at the end of the Summer Term. In July 2015, we visited the British Library in London.

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