Technology & Libraries
Friends’ Central School libraries promote reading as a foundational skill, allowing students to develop into passionate readers and lifelong learners. Librarians provide expert instruction in digital, textual, technological, visual, and information literacies. Students develop skills to find, evaluate, use, and create information appropriately, effectively, and ethically. The libraries provide access to tools, equipment, information, and guidance so that community members can learn and share ideas together.
The Lower School Library serves as the information center of the Lower School, supporting all educational programs and providing teachers and students with helpful resources quickly and efficiently. Our goal is to inspire a lifelong love of reading and to promote information literacy by teaching research and library skills necessary to become independent learners.
The library offers a wide array of materials including over 14,000 books, videos, DVDs, CDs, reference materials, magazines and online resources. Research skills are taught within the context of classroom curricula and in collaboration with classroom teachers. All classes visit the library weekly. In addition, there is flexible scheduling for classes to use the library for research projects. Children are encouraged to visit the library, with permission of the classroom teacher, whenever they need to return or choose a new book.The library is equipped with 12 computers with internet access and an online catalog. Additional laptops are available when needed. Our library blog includes links to kid-friendly search engines and research sites. We subscribe to World Book Online, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and AccessPA Power Library, all of which can be accessed from home. Lower School faculty and students have instant access to Blackburn’s Middle and Upper School library online catalog and resources.
Blackburn Library, located on the City Avenue campus, provides collaborative space and resources that allow Middle and Upper School students to learn, discover and create. Blackburn Library is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, and provides flexible spaces for group and individual study, including a small group study room with whiteboard walls and a flat screen TV for group presentation. Blackburn librarians provide instruction on digital and information literacy skills and offer expert guidance to match each reader to their next favorite book.
Blackburn Library’s print collection includes 16,000 books, videos, DVDs, e-books, and periodicals for students pursuing research assignments or topics of personal interest. In addition, the Blackburn online library provides students with 24/7 access to databases and research tools including ProQuest, JSTOR, Questia, Noodletools and AccessPA Power Library. These resources are a gateway to thousands of full-text articles, e-books, maps, images, audio clips and videos. Historical periodicals and other primary sources are an area of special focus in Blackburn Library’s online collections. Students may also borrow materials from the Pennsylvania inter-library loan program that includes more than 2,600 school, public, academic and special libraries and millions of holdings. See the Blackburn Library website for more.