The bright and modern Downe House Library is situated on the top floor of the Murray Centre and houses a collection of over 12,000 books as well as print and digital journals.

A 21st century Library

The brand new Downe House Library houses a collection of over 12,000 books which includes a wide range of up-to-date fiction titles to inspire girls in their reading for pleasure and a collection of non-fiction books to support their independent learning. Staff and students can borrow books at any time. We also offer print journals, some subject specific, others of more general interest, and a range of high quality e-learning resources that can be accessed digitally through the school’s system. E-books are also available to borrow and read online.

An inspiring study and learning space

The School Library is a purpose-built study space where students of all ages can come for private academic work and it is fully connected to allow fast and easy access to online resources. There are four Surface Go devices which girls can borrow for use in the Murray Centre.

The Library also hosts author events and reading programmes. Recently the Upper Fourth enjoyed a visit and book signing by Kathryn Evans, author of More of Me and Beauty Sleep who delivered an enthusiastic and gripping workshop. Our Remove participate in Bookbuzz for which each girls is given a book to review and design a book cover for.

Reading List

Each year the Library staff compile a reading list which brings together a huge range of resources recommended by our academic departments. The list gives each girl ideas of literature to inspire her to nurture a love of reading, to explore around her academic subjects and to expand her mind!

Reading List 2020-21

Opening times

The Library is open from 8am until 10pm, seven days a week during term time. Staff are always available to offer help and guidance to support the students with their learning.

An hour dedicated to reading

We’re working on new initiatives to encourage our girls to read for pleasure. For an hour every night the library staff are on hand to to help and advise girls in their reading choices. Girls can come and enjoy the library as a gift of time and space. This hour also provides the opportunity for girls to listen to staff reading from books whilst enjoying some tasty treats. Our first reading was done by Headmistress Mrs McKendrick.

Harry Potter and the Deathday Party – Hallowe’en in the Library

Lower School girls were in for a treat when they attended a Hallowe’en reading from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Complete with silvery cape, pointy hat and Sirius Black’s wand, Mrs Bizior had the girls riveted as she read about Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party and revealed her impressive knowledge of all things Harry Potter! The library was transformed into a Hallowe’en heaven, complete with pumpkins, bats, spider-filled cobwebs on the bookcases and an impressive display of suitably scary books for the girls to look at. Great fun!

Mrs Gilpin-Jones reads extracts from Noughts and Crosses

The library was packed with Lower School girls last night who came to hear Mrs Gilpin-Jones reading extracts from Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Now a classic book in the teen genre, this novel cleverly subverts the racial debate with the Crosses, a dark-skinned elite, ruling the country and the Noughts, a ‘colourless underclass’, fighting for equality. Set against this backdrop of racism and mounting violence, is the love story of Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought. After the reading, the girls discussed the powerful messages of the book, considering the impact of derogatory names and whether violence is either justified or necessary in the fight for equality.

You can read more about the launch of Reading Hour here.



Book of the Week

Downe House Library brings you their ‘Book of the Week’. Read brief blurbs and reviews of the suggested books to help you decide what you should read next.


10 Reasons why you should read more

We believe that time taken to pick up a book is never wasted. Reading for pleasure is immensely beneficial. We’ve listed ten good reasons why you should always have a book on the go – and they’re based on sound research!


Visits & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House, is to come and experience it for yourself – arrange a visit or join us for one of our Open Mornings?