The College Library is housed in a beautiful building in the middle of Front Quad - right at the heart of the College. It was built as a memorial to eleven Old Glenalmonds who were killed in the Boer War. Officially opened in 1906, it was designed by local Perth architect, A.G. Heiton.
On the ground floor, the Reading Room houses over 2,000 works of fiction as well as over 1,000 junior non-fiction books, 800 classical CDs, a collection of audio books and DVDs. Magazines and newspapers, covering a wide range of topics, are provided.
There are ten networked computers. Pupils can access the Internet for independent research and work with the usual Microsoft Office applications. A scanner, colour printer and photocopying facilities are available for pupil use. In addition, a wireless network point enables pupils to access the resources of the College network via their laptops in any part of the building.
The Sixth Form Library is maintained as a quiet study area for all pupils. Juniors may access this room during their free time to work quietly and it is heavily used by Sixth Formers during their study lessons. The Library is very well resourced with around 15,000 books to support the Sixth Form teaching and learning. There is a reference section containing encyclopaedias and dictionaries and a complete set of UK university and college prospectuses with supporting reference material. In addition, the library subscribes to various online reference resources.
The Glenalmond Personal Reading Challenge is designed to encourage and reward personal reading. Pupils in Second and Third Forms begin the Bronze Award which is achieved by reading seven books which the pupil can choose from a variety of categories. These can be library books or books from home.
All pupils are encouraged to gain at least a Bronze Award by the end of their first year at Glenalmond. Thereafter, they will have the opportunity to work towards the Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards which are increasingly demanding. For example, the Gold Award is reached by reading ten books, one of which must be by a pre-twentieth century author and two of which must be connected by a theme.
The Challenge has been set up by the Library, in conjunction with the English Department, to encourage and promote reading for pleasure amongst pupils; to encourage pupils to read a variety of different styles of literature; and to establish a lifelong enjoyment of reading amongst all pupils.
Pupils whose first language is not English and those with Special Educational Needs, such as dyslexia, may use Audio Books, abridged or easy readers in consultation with their English teacher.
eBook readers such as Kindles or iPads may also be used by any pupil.
This initiative is being supported by all House Staff and reading suggestions are available in Houses. It must be stressed, however, that these are only suggestions as the choice of books to be read is very much a personal one for each pupil.