The Arnold House library aims to supply the reading requirements of all the school's pupils, and to that effect the Library is involved in the literary needs of each year group and the specific, individual needs of each boy.
The library is arranged in an order best suited to the requirements of Arnold House. Fiction takes up the majority of the book stock. Fiction is colour coded roughly by ability – not by age. Yellow stickers mark the books for those boys just beginning move away from the reading scheme. Green marks the books for newly confident readers exploring the world of fiction. Pale blue is the next step, with more complex stories. Red is next, with the majority of children's fiction. Dark blue marks the toughest reads in the library. Gold is for 'Year 8 Only', to set apart books not suitable for the younger boys.
Non-fiction is clearly marked both on the books and on the shelves. The librarian consults with other heads of department to ensure that the non-fiction stock reflects the curriculum and non-curriculum needs of the school.
The boys are encouraged to read widely and thoughtfully. Independent choice is a skill that the boys learn as they progress through the school. The library is open from the beginning of the school day to the end, with the Librarian on duty through all breaks to enable the boys to choose books that will be both enjoyable and gently challenging.
Pupil librarians assist in the day-to-day running of the library. They shelve books, cover and catalogue, assist younger boys and keep order. Competition to be awarded the post of pupil head librarian, pupil librarian or assistant librarian is fierce.
The AH Library is a welcoming space devoted to encouraging reading for pleasure. There is no doubt that reading well is an important tool for exams, but it is also an important tool for life, giving the reader the comfort of shared experiences, the safety of dark stories in a safe place and an understanding of others’ lives and emotions.