The school library is at the heart of the school's resources and as such aims to support the curriculum. It is situated in the main house in a wonderful room overlooking the gardens and grounds and provides an inspirational setting for learning.
The main library houses 18,000 books, dvds and audio cds plus over 14,000 additional virtual resources. There are 3,000 video links, 10,000 selected website links, 200 e-books and over 1,000 news articles. The library catalogue is centrally networked and everything is indexed to provide easy access to the material available. Allowance is made for 10% replacement of stock each year, so that it is kept up-to-date and in good condition. 1,500 items, mostly popular fiction, are on loan from the School Library Service and are continually updated.
Emphasis is on providing what members want, whether the material required is academic or recreational, as quickly as possible. There is a popular request system in operation and books are either bought new or borrowed as temporary loans via Dorset County Libraries. The selection of materials to support curriculum needs is made by the librarian through informal consultation with HoDs.
The librarians offer a timesaving research facility to both staff and pupils. Information can be requested personally, by phone or by e-mail. The library also maintains a 'current articles' file of useful ephemera and has the facility to download and transfer electronic files using the school's e-mail and computer network system.
The aim in amalgamating non-book materials is to encourage pupils to use a variety of media in their research.
The library catalogue contains all useful material from departmental libraries and is centrally networked. In addition, the library has over 30 subscription resources - Oxford Reference online, New Scientist archive, Oxford Language Dictionaries and Who's Who to name just a selection. Pupils and staff also have easy access to external agencies including the British Library and Dorset County Library which have substantial online catalogues. Canford is able to obtain inter-library loans of out-of-print books and photocopies of copyright articles for research purposes. We also have links with local specialist libraries.