The Library

Our Library is a central hub for the school. In 2019, the Library was completely renovated, creating a warm, modern and open space for pupils to study, read and learn in. Spread over two floors the library area provides a mix of formal work space and comfortable quiet reading areas. The Library is home to over 15,000 books, including fiction, non-fiction, magazines and academic texts, providing students with a wealth of learning and reading opportunities. The Library also subscribes to databases and resources specifically for Upper School and Sixth Form students, such as JSTOR and MASSOLIT.



Opening Times

The Library is open to all students at King Edward’s.

Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm


Online Resources
Library Catalogue  

Students can browse our online catalogue anytime to see if we have what they need in the Library. The Library catalogue can be accessed here. Should students need or want a resource/ text, that they can not find in the Library or in the catalogue, they should email the Library Manager, Ms Speck.

KES eLibrary 

Students can also access ebooks, audiobooks, GCSE and A Level texts via the KES eLibrary. The online platform has over 2500 ebooks and 900 audiobooks.

There are also specific reading lists available such as the ‘Wellness Reading List’ and ‘Lower School Recommendations’, to help students browse the eLibrary. These reading lists will be updated each week by Library Manager, Ms Speck.  The eLibrary can be accessed here: King Edward VI School (Southampton) – King Edward VI School (Southampton) (eplatform.co)

Each pupil is allowed two books at one time – or one book and one audiobook, which can be borrowed for a duration of 14 days. If these are not returned or renewed after 14 days, they will automatically be returned.

For help with logging in please email this address and for any book or library issues, please contact Ms Speck.

Weekly Literary Review

Each week, the librarians publish a Literature Review, featuring reviews from staff and students, as well as book news. All issues are published in the school Bulletin, which can be access here.

Library Activities and Events 
Author Visits

Throughout the year, the Library organises author visits. The most recent include:

    • Tom Palmer
      • Award-winning children’s author Tom Palmer (and his dog, Finn!) joined us on Zoom in January 2021. Palmer has written over 50 books, with the most recent three focusing on historical fiction, specifically the Second World War and child survivors of the Holocaust. Students learnt how Tom Palmer researched his ideas for the books, shared some invaluable writing tips and told them all about his latest novel ‘After the War’, a book based on the lives of three holocaust survivor children, who move to Britain after the war (one of whom came to Southampton!).
    • Maz Evans
      • First Year Pupils were treated to a virtual visit from author Maz Evans, who read a chapter from her Waterstones book of the year, ‘Who Let the Gods Out’. This event was planned as part of our Extended Studies programme, promoting the idea of mindful reading. Pupils were then able to ask questions to Maz Evans about the book, concept of the story, themes and the writing process.
Library Leaders

Our Library Leaders are at the forefront of running their library (it is theirs after all!). They are reading role models for their peers and help the Librarians with their daily jobs around the library.

They also get the chance to be involved in organising literary events, literary festivals, trips to the British Library, exclusive competitions and be able to attend exclusive author visits and much more. Eventually our Library Leaders will be responsible for the desk and helping other students with book choices and recommendations.  Currently there are 18 fantastic Library Leaders from First Year, and the Librarians will be be recruiting for Second and Third Year Library Leaders in the new year.

Sixth Form Book Chat
Ms Speck and Miss Phillips run a weekly book chat with Sixth Form pupils. The group pick one book to read, before meeting up to discuss key themes, ideas and thoughts. This week the group are reading ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry, an essential modern text.