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Impressive New Library Opens

Canford Library and Assembly Hall

Pupils and staff have returned to Canford for the new academic year to a brand new library and Assembly Hall complex.

The new library offers over 300 linear metres of open book shelving and a multimedia area giving access to multiple online resources. Breakout seminar spaces with video conferencing facilities will allow for meetings both onsite and with schools and organisations across the globe through our Global Connections programme. A single storey glass foyer links to the redesigned Assembly Hall which opened in November 2020 and has seating capacity for over 750, allowing the entire school of pupils and staff to meet together as well as offering a multifunctional space for events.

In the central courtyard area of the new Library is Lady Charlotte’s Walk, named in memory of Lady Charlotte Guest, wife of the owner of Canford Manor John Josiah Guest who became a leading figure in the study of literature. The Walk is edged in engraved stones sponsored by Canford OCs and parents in support of the Martin Marriott Foundation for bursaries. 

Initial reaction from pupils has been hugely positive:

“Really like the mezzanine – you are separate to be able to get on with work but still feel part of the library building.”

“I love it!  A really peaceful space to work in.”

“I like the fact it’s really modern and the technology is great.”

“Great architecture and good Wifi.”

Librarian Mary Anne Hockey is delighted with the new space:

“The new library is a fantastic building for pupils, staff and the whole school community.  It provides a wonderful study space as well as flexible spaces for activities and events. This will allow us to encourage even greater usage of our digital services and online resources. I am also delighted with the space for books. The area for fiction is welcoming for younger year groups. This is a brilliant investment in literacy, reading for enjoyment and academic success for our pupils. The library team and I are all looking forward to working with the school community in this great facility.”  As part of the Great School Libraries campaign during Covid-19, Mary Anne contributed an article about literacy in lockdown.

Headmaster Ben Vessey commented:

“Canford is committed to a development programme which improves and modernises our buildings and facilities for the benefit of both our current pupils and staff and for those in the future, fitting very much with our school vision of enabling our school community to explore, to express and to excel. The new library is the latest in a series of projects and offers a modern, spacious teaching and learning facility combined with the technology to take advantage of academic expertise across the globe.

It has been fantastic seeing staff and pupils enjoying this brilliant new teaching and learning facility which will significantly enhance our high quality educational offering. My thanks go to all those involved in making this ambitious building project a reality.”

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