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Smythe Library

The Smythe Library aims to be a central hub for the boys of Tonbridge School, accessible seven days a week during term-time, catering for their academic needs as well as providing a safe space to retreat to after a hectic day.

Renovated in 2017, the library is modern and enticing, whilst retaining echoes of its past life, meeting the needs of an expanding and diverse cohort and curriculum by supplying over 29,000 physical books alongside eBooks, audiobooks and over 30 electronic databases to support the scholarly ambitions of our students, ensuring reliable and relevant information.

Staffed by two friendly qualified librarians, the library promotes reading for pleasure as well as providing academic support to the sixth form. We offer 1-1 assistance for boys undertaking research e.g. EPQs or coursework, and our Firefly pages are filled with valuable academic literacy support. The library curates reading lists for departments, for university applications and for social awareness, encouraging boys to be intellectually curious outside of their subject choices.

Shelves are stocked with current best sellers, award winners and books featured prominently in the press to entice casual browsers to pick up their next read. Should students require additional materials, boys are encouraged to make purchase requests, whether for academic or personal interest.

The library covers two floors, an upper silent university style study floor with bookable rooms and a more relaxed lower floor for English reading classes and quiet conversation. At break times the library loosens it’s rules and welcomes boys from across houses and year groups to catch up with each other in an informal setting, perhaps enjoying a treat from the Chan café.

The library building encompasses not only the library but also the Universities and Careers department and Learning Strategies, developing close ties of support to assist boys throughout their Tonbridge journey.

Meet the Team

Mrs Helen Precious

Head Librarian
MSc, City University
BA, University of Hull

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