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Southworth Library in the Upper School

The mission of the Upper School Library is to provide a wide range of resources and service to the school community. Resources are selected to represent diverse viewpoints, authors, reading preferences, and interest levels. Students make extensive use of the comfortable environment to do research, complete assignments, and pursue personal interests. The carefully-curated fiction collection housed in the Bakker Reading Room promotes reading as a lifelong activity.

Members of the library staff work closely with students to teach information literacy and to encourage the development of independent research skills. To make this meaningful, the librarians make a special effort to collaborate with faculty and to integrate their instruction with class assignments. All freshmen and new students meet individually with a librarian who explains the library resources and demonstrates how to get the most out of them.

Library Director Karen W. Starr '70 says, “I love walking into this building every day. Its architectural features create an environment that encourages academic pursuits. Two intersecting walls of floor-to-ceiling windows offer a unique view of the campus through a vast expanse of glass. We are pleased that the library, with its comfortable seating arrangements and variety of study spaces, is a popular destination for students throughout the day."

There are four small study rooms that can be used in a variety of ways. Students can use them for group study; teachers can use them for seminar-style classes; the McCusker Study Room, equipped with an interactive white board, is the perfect venue for presentations to small groups; and the Bakker Reading Room, which provides a warm and inviting space for students, is a favorite room for small community events. Students also have at their disposal, six study carrels where they can work with a minimum of distraction.

Library resources are customized to support the Upper School curriculum and they include...

TigerGuides with links to Reference Databases (both available throught the Student and Faculty Portals), the Southworth Library Catalog, and course-specific pages designed to facilitate student research for projects in History, English, Foreign Language, and Science.

  • 19 desktop computers
  • 18 wireless laptops
  • 58 periodical subscriptions
  • 50+ subscriptions to online research databases
  • Daily subscriptions to The Boston Globe and The New York Times
  • Over 15,000 volumes

Southworth Library is a member of the Regional Library System that provides inter-library loans and access to numerous online databases. The librarians are members of the independent schools' Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association.

Passwords for off-campus access to some of Thayer's reference databases can be found here» Note: When you click on this link, you'll be prompted to give your Community Login credentials.

Thayer Libraries Online Catalog

Contact Us in the Library

  • Janet Langer
    Upper School Librarian

  • Stephanie Rando '88, P '18
    Library Assistant

    Southworth Library is open...
    Mon, Tues, Thurs → 8:00-5:00
    Wed → 8:00-4:00
    Fri → 8:00-3:30

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