A sit down with the RSA Librarian, Mrs Cloughley

By Denis Navickas and Cherry Chan

The library at RSA boasts an impressive selection of books, from fiction to nonfiction, reference books to newspapers. Coupled with a dedicated computer area linked up to printing facilities open to use for all pupils, the library is a wonderful place to be, whether you’re getting some work done or just enjoying the quiet. Located just outside the dinner hall, it offers a safe environment for all pupils. Mrs Cloughley, the school librarian, is always happy to help with any queries.

The library is open throughout the school day for class visits, during lunch, and up to 4.15 from Mondays to Thursdays.
Before the pandemic, 6th-form student volunteers would assist the library in its day-to-day running, a popular opportunity which will hopefully make a return in the near future. This is just one example of how COVID-19 has had a major impact on the library. However, Mrs Cloughley praises pupils and staff, who have conscientiously followed guidelines including the wearing of masks and sanitization of library facilities to keep everyone safe.

The Librarian’s Book Recommendations:
Mrs Cloughley has wonderfully provided some of her own personal book recommendations for students.

An all-time favourite is ‘Life on the Refrigerator Door’ by Alice Kuipers, a thought-provoking novel which Mrs Cloughley applauds for its relevance to modern familial relationships and unique format. Other recommended reads include:

  • ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo

  • ‘Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key’ by Jack Gantos

  • ‘My Sister lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher

  • ‘Bog Child’ by Siobhan Dowd

  • ‘Ostrich Boys’ by Keith Gray

  • ‘Love Aubrey’ by Suzanne La Fleur

  • ‘The Rattletrap Trip’ by Rachel Anderson

Book review files are another useful feature of the library – students can write reviews for books they’ve read which other pupils can view before taking out a book. The library also accepts book donations from students, as long as they are appropriate.