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NEWS > Teacher profiles > The Library is Not Just a Room With Books

The Library is Not Just a Room With Books

Lucie Payne, who was the Librarian at LEH for 12 years, retired in September 2019
I have loved every minute of my 12 years at LEH, and would walk into the school every morning expectant and excited about what would unfold. In the Library? Of course! It’s not just a room with books, the Library is more a ‘verb’ about becoming, finding out and discovering. Girls are always looking for ‘the book’ which will explain, elucidate and enhance their burgeoning understanding of the world and I was privileged to be part of this process. Whether this was through curricular study and extension or through fiction, the Library – and their Librarian – was part of this voyage of discovery.

There is so much good fiction now that girls have a tremendous choice. I read about weird dystopian futures, romantic teenage angst and blood pumping adventure novels all making me re-think what literature was about. With the girls at LEH, these books were turned to for solace, excitement or imaginative stimulation and the girls taught me that all these reasons for loving a book are valid and worthwhile.

I ran a Carnegie Shadowing group for many years where we read through the Carnegie Prize shortlist and came up with our own winner. We ran this club jointly with Hampton School and for some years Hampton Academy. Sharing their love of reading with their neighbours and fellow readers was a high point in the year for us all.

Working with Kingston School Libraries I also fielded a team for the Interborough Literary Quiz held at Tiffin School. A team of 12 girls read through a set list of texts and pitted their knowledge against a dozen other schools in Kingston Borough, Richmond Borough and further afield. My first team in 2007 won, but despite our early success, we couldn’t replicate this victory but had great times none the less.

I have now seen many girls through their school career from their first day as Thirds until their results day excitement leading to university. I can honestly say that this has been the most fulfilling career I could have ever dreamed of and while filled with gratitude for having shared this with amazing colleagues and wonderful girls, I am leaving with the knowledge that this process will carry on with my gratitude for having been allowed to initiate and embroider it with you all.

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