Our Library

The Mansell Library at King Edward VI Handsworth School.

Our spacious and inviting library was officially opened on 14th September 2011 (the school’s centenary) by the author Celia Rees. Named after our former Chair of Governors, Robert Mansell, the library is a stunning building with impressive views out across the playing fields. With 144 seats and plenty of space to browse the shelves, this light and airy facility is a popular place to be.


The aim of the Mansell Library is to provide a calm place of equal access to all, inspiring a culture of reading and independent learning at King Edward VI Handsworth School.

Teaching and learning is supported by a collection of paper based and electronic information resources relevant to the taught curriculum, EPQ and wider personal interests. Information literacy skills are encouraged and promoted at every opportunity ensuring that the pupils are well equipped not only during their time at school but also in the world beyond education.

A love of reading for pleasure is an important part of our students’ lives as it provides both educational and relaxation benefits. Reading for pleasure is promoted and supported by an extensive paper and eBook collection within the Library.

Opening Times

The library opens at 8.00am for silent reading and working before registration. Registration time is an opportunity for individual classes to visit the library for sessions on reading for pleasure or information skills. During lesson times the space and resources, including the computers and printing facilities, are available for sixth form during their study periods.  Breaks and lunch times are open to all.

Library Resources

The library has an extensive general fiction collection focussing on award winning novels, classics, newly published fiction and pupil suggestions. For older students there is an older teen and adult fiction collection. Both of these collections are complemented by our eBook platform. To support the curriculum, we have paper based and electronic information resources, journals, magazines and careers resources. The library also has a small collection of DVDs based on books to film. There are 51 computers spread over a mezzanine, which is also a bookable resource for classes, and ground floor computer tables. They are all networked to the library printer/photocopier.

Library Catalogue:


Library eBooks:


Borrowing resources

Pupils and staff may borrow up to 5 resources at any one-time including DVDs.

Pupil Librarians

We have a team of Pupil Librarians and a Library Prefect who help the Librarian at breaks and lunch-time.

Pupil Librarians are required to attend for 4 duties during the fortnightly timetable and work towards badges and certificates for different levels of service.  Tasks vary and may include stamping and labelling new books, repairing books, returning books to and tidying the shelves or issuing resources.  The Pupil Librarian team consists of pupils from all years.

Pupil Librarians also help to organise displays, book sales and a termly magazine emailed out to the rest of the school as part of their Pupil Librarian badges.

Reading Challenges incorporating reading for pleasure

In partnership with the English Department, the Library organises and promotes Reading Challenges for each of the school years. Pupils can earn certificates and prizes for reading books throughout the year.  The current challenges include:

Year 7 – Reading different genres

Year 8 – Award Winning

Year 9 – 19th century fiction to the present day.

Extra-Curricular activities

Book Club

The Book Club meets in the Library on Tuesdays to discuss anything the pupils have read and wish to share. Our main focusses are shadowing CILIP’s Carnegie Medal Award via their website and following the Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award.

Book Sales

Scholastic Book Sales are organized by the Pupil Librarian team and raise money for the library.


Pupil Librarians organize assemblies and competitions to celebrate many events such as World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day.

Follow the library on Twitter @KEVIHSLibrary