Ursuline Academy offers extensive library resources to our students, faculty, and staff at all grade levels to enhance learning and foster strong research skills Academy-wide. Our Library Program serves as the perfect complement to our award-winning Technology Program and gives our students access to state-of-the-art hardware and software options, as well as world-class research databases. Our program in the Lower School, which includes our Early Childhood Program, focuses on teaching students how to navigate our library, conduct basic database research, build study skills, and develop a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, reading and literature. Our Middle and Upper Schools Programs focuses on increasing study skills and critical thinking strategies, and greatly emphasizes the importance of learning, developing, and applying proper research techniques for the development of critical research papers and original compositions. Understanding how to properly research and reference primary and secondary sources, and convey and cite that information in a report, is an incredibly important skill our students consistently use in grades 6 – 12, and serves as an invaluable asset to our graduates in college and beyond.
Early Childhood and Lower School Library Programs
Ursuline’s Lower School offers an enriching Library Science curriculum that encompasses the Early Childhood Program and continues through grade 5. Students develop library skills, including book care, use of the library, author studies, and the ability to select appropriate fiction and nonfiction books that foster intellectual growth and a love of reading. Our Lower School Librarian teaches a study skills program that focuses on organization, time management, and test taking strategies to strengthen study habits and enhance student learning.
Students in grades 1 – 5 use computers and online technology to locate books and other resources in the library, as well as conduct basic database research. Students in grades 4 and 5 learn how to write a quality research paper by using notecards and outlines to produce well-developed sentences and paragraphs. The research project includes lessons on using accurate, reliable sources to construct a MLA-formatted bibliography and parenthetical references. The library lessons in the Lower School support the students to confidently transition to the Middle School curriculum. Familiarizing our students with proper database research methods at an early age develops an increased aptitude for learning across all academic fields and ensures they understand the importance of responsible and ethical report composition.
Middle and Upper School Library Programs
Our Middle and Upper School Library supports the educational goals of our rigorous academic curriculum by collecting, organizing, and providing access to information resources and teaching our students the tenets of effective research. With our award-winning One-to-One Laptop Program, which starts in grade 6, our Librarian and Technology Department work hand-in-hand to ensure our students have access to critical database resources both on campus and at home. As a subscriber to the University of Delaware’s Library Portal, UDLib/SEARCH, we offer our students access to an all-purpose research database and digitized versions of reference materials. The synergy of technology and library science at Ursuline allows our students to become early adapters to the latest research resources and gives them a competitive technological advantage over their peers in college and beyond.
Our librarians work both independently and collectively with students to build a strong research foundation. Our teachers consistently take advantage of our librarians’ wealth of knowledge and resources for research- and report- based assignments in all subject areas by holding classes in the Library and working with our librarians to ensure students have the tools they need to excel. At Ursuline, students explore both traditional and cutting edge online databases while employing critical judgment on the reliability of sources, which gives them the skills needed to become independent critical readers, thinkers, and information users.