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Library

The ISK library is an active and welcoming space, designed for 21st century learning and used by the entire ISK community. Located at the heart of the school, it contains spaces for dynamic group learning as well as for independent study. Its collection contains over 25,000 books, multiple online resources and 75 magazine subscriptions, providing students with a wide selection of materials for both academic and recreational reading. Wireless internet access is available throughout.

The library aims to help students develop their abilities to be independent, creative, responsible and effective users of ideas and information in order to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, multicultural world and pursue their passions. Its mission includes developing our students as lifelong readers, by providing a wide range of appropriate materials for all reading abilities and age levels, through a variety of mediums.

Although housed under one roof, the library has separate collections and spaces for Elementary and Secondary (Middle and High School) students, with a specialist librarian assigned to each.

Library staff are available to assist students and to support activities related to reading and writing, such as book groups, author visits, writing competitions and reading challenges.

More About the Library

ISK Research Process

Through an agreed Research Process and Standards, librarians and teachers partner to teach students the skills they need to be researchers in the 21st century. We are committed to having our students address authentic problems and questions that matter, using authoritative information, critical thinking and creativity, in an ethical manner.

THE BIG FIVE RESEARCH PROCESS:

Middle/High School Version (students can access the interactive version on Moodle)

Elementary School Version (as seen below)

E-Resources

Online Resources:

The library's online resources can be accessed both on and off campus. Links to our many online subscription resources, as well as the library catalog are found on our Research Tools page. Most are available only to ISK students and require a user-name and password (email library@isk.ac.ke if you need them).

E-books:

The library offers e-books through Kindles (available for check out to grades 5-12) and Follettshelf, ISK’s own online library of books (where books can be read online or downloaded to your own device).

ES students have an additional library of e-books through Tumblebooks, a collection of picture books supported by an audio feature.



ISK Library Sections

Elementary Library


Elementary classes visit the library every week for lessons on information literacy, related to both the library and grade level curriculum. Students develop research skills, become familiar with a variety of genres and authors, and learn to navigate books and online resources. One of most important aspects of the library program is for students to discover the world of books and reading. They are free to choose books according to their individual interests and are welcome to visit the library before school and during their morning and lunch recess.

ES Online resources can be seen on the Library Links page. These are specifically geared towards this age group:

  • TumbleBooks: a selection of ebooks that have been created from existing picture books.
  • PebbleGo: for our youngest researchers (PK-3), wanting to learn about animals, science, social studies, or famous people.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica: The Foundation Level of this online school edition is written for elementary students. Our students also have access to Britannica ImageQuest, a library of images that can be freely used.
  • BrainPop: a collection of short, animated videos, with accompanying activities, on topics related to the school curriculum.

ES Reading Book Lists are located on our CHOOSE A BOOK page or consult the ES librarian for recommendations.

Middle/High School Library

The MS/HS side of the library is a very ‘happening’ place with spaces for students to study quietly, work in groups or with their class. A large selection of books and computers support their learning.

Students use the library independently during breaks, free periods, and lunch time, as well as before and after school. Teachers bring classes to conduct research or receive information literacy lessons in the Reference Area, a space that is designed to function as a teaching space for the librarian, as well as a study area for the students.

In addition to supporting the increasing amount of research students do in these years, the library is a place where reading for the sheer pleasure of reading is promoted. MS/HS Reading book lists can be found here. A specially selected collection of fiction for Middle School students makes book choice easier for our middle-year students. Over 50 magazines, addressing a wide variety of interests, can be read in the library or checked out. Access to the library catalog is available through ipads strategically placed throughout the library.

Author Visits

Author visits enhance the library and literacy curriculum at ISK and are considered valuable to our students for developing their writing skills and their appreciation of literature. They also provide a unique insight into the world of publishing.

Each year the library hosts a visit by at least one successful published author. In 2015-16, we welcomed 3 visiting authors: Eric Walters, John Coy (for our ES students) and Ishmael Beah (for our 9th and 10th graders). In 2017, a pair of poets spent a week with us: Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.

Parent Use of the Library

“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

Jim Trelease, The Red-Aloud Handbook

Are parents allowed to use the library?

Not only are they allowed to use the library, they are encouraged to do so! By reading aloud and by modeling reading, you make a valuable contribution to your child's successful acquisition of the literacy skills that are fundamental to learning. You'll find we have a large selection of picture books and chapter books to share with your child, as well as reading material to satisfy your own needs (this includes magazines, novels, cookbooks, books about Kenya, parenting books, travel books and much more).

How does it work?

Come into the library any time to sign up for a library card. Parents who can't come during the week are reminded that the library is open on Saturday mornings. We invite you to check out 10 items at a time for a loan period of 3 weeks. Our DVD collection has been selected to support the curriculum and is mainly for teacher use, but parents may use it over weekends and during holidays.


Does the library need volunteers?

ISK community members are encouraged to visit Library Staff to inquire as to how they might serve as a volunteer in the library. As well as needing volunteers on a regular basis, extra help is needed to help coordinate events such as the annual author visit and the Scholastic student book order.

Staff:

Barbara Jones - ES and Head Librarian

Bobbi Nicholas - MS/HS Librarian

Jane Gichuru - Assistant Librarian

Peter Muthusi - Circulation Supervisor

Grace Kitili - Library Assistant

Hours:

Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 4:45 pm (1:30 pm closure on Wednesdays)

Saturdays: 8:00 am - 12:00 noon

School Holidays (if not a national holiday): 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

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