Spotlight On: The Library - from books to brilliance


Spotlight On: The Library – from books to brilliance


Here at Marlborough College Malaysia we are lucky to have not just one library, but three! So let’s find out more about our new Head Librarian, Mr Dan Hartshorn as he explains all about the library services at MCM. 


Mr Hartshorn, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 


Hailing from not-so-sunny Marlborough in the UK, I grew up in a fairly quiet part of rural England; there was frequently little else to do with my free time than to read. More than two decades later, I started work as the Library Assistant at Marlborough College UK; fast forward five years, and I am now 7,000 miles from where I started (in another place called Marlborough, no less!) and have been thoroughly engrossed by the opportunity to develop Library services at MCM.


We have three separate libraries here at MCM, can you tell us a bit about what each one offers?


Our Pre-Prep Library sessions give children the chance to be read to and gives them a venue to demonstrate and develop their reading skills in turn. Getting to know the pupils in Nursery and Pre-Prep early on allows us to foster that love of stories and reading that segues so well into more serious academic reading as they grow older. 


For our Prep School pupils, these are some of the most important years for embedding their relationship with reading and introducing them to a range of Library and research skills. Pupils from Year 3 are taught what services a modern library can provide for them, and will get a hands-on opportunity to learn Library skills in the form of a Treasure Hunt! Year 8 pupils have just started the Prep Research Prize, giving them the opportunity to develop their research skills by writing an essay based on a range of topics.


When our pupils reach the Senior School, the Library supports students’ academic studies by discussing wider and recommended reading with beaks, teaching information literacy, and providing 1-2-1 research tutorials tailored to the specific needs of the student.


What’s new in the Prep and Senior Libraries this year?


This year, I have sought to expand the College’s digital resources through various means. I have put together a raft of approximately fifty free digital resources suitable for Prep and Senior pupils and have subscribed to services which assist student research. For example, The Financial Times offers free institutional subscriptions to secondary schools – a fact which was celebrated by many staff and students here at MCM! The National Library of Malaysia has also proved to be an excellent resource, giving everyone access to dozens of databases and hundreds of digital periodicals that can enhance the learning and leisure time of the College community. 


Any final thoughts? 


In my view, a Library is so much more than a mere collection of books: we host fun activities; engage pupils with new perspectives to promote prosocial traits and foster empathy; we develop research and information literacy skills; and we provide a safe and inclusive space for pupils to unwind and be heard. I would like to thank our two Library Assistants – Carolyn and Siew – for their commitment to delivering an outstanding service and the effort they put in every day; and I would also like to personally thank the pupils and staff at MCM for making me feel so welcomed over the past seven months.

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