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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. The library is used extensively by students who make good use of the comfortable environment to engage in research, to complete assignments, and to pursue personal interests. The extensive fiction collection housed in the Bakker 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 use them.

The library has four small study rooms with a variety of potential uses. Students can use them for group study; teachers can use them for seminar-style classes; one room is equipped with an interactive white board; and one of the rooms features a dramatic loft-like space that extends out over the lobby. Students also have at their disposal, six study carrels and a Quiet Zone for studying with less distraction. The Bakker Reading Room continues to provide a warm and inviting space for students, and is a favorite room for small community events.

“I love walking into our space every day," says Library Director Karen W. Starr '70. "I never tire of the panorama created by the vast expanse of glass that overlooks the campus - it is a striking architectural feature. The view extends from the lawn in front of Main Building around to the playing fields that border Tremont Street. I expect the cushioned window seats to be very popular as well. As an alumna of Thayer Academy, I am really happy that we were able to renovate the library but also retain the unique qualities of the building,” noted Starr.

Library resources are customized to support the Upper School curriculum and 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. When you click on this link, you'll be prompted for the login credentials that you normally use to log in to the student or faculty portal»

Thayer Libraries Online Catalog

Contact Us in the Library

  • Janet Langer
    Upper School Librarian

  • Barbara Browne
    Library Assistant

  • 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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