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Living Library

Engaging young children to openly discuss a book or topic, ask questions and have direct conversations with senior pupils at St Paul's Girls' School.


The concept of a living library is that instead of borrowing a book or looking on the internet to find out more about a topic, you talk to someone who knows something about it.  For our girls, it’s a chance to share their enthusiasm for sport, drama, music, a particular hobby or academic interest and to experience the challenge and pleasure of engaging a young audience. For the year 5 children, it’s a chance to learn something new or share their own knowledge and involves a dialogue where they are encouraged to ask questions and direct the conversation. 


On the day itself, the event takes just under two hours with two members of library staff and typically 10 to 15 Year 12 students take part.

Prior to the event, the librarian takes responsibility for the administration, the students prepare what they are going to talk about and produce a “book cover” to illustrate their topic.

The event is held in the library which provides a wonderful back drop for exploring new ideas.


The event continues year after year because everyone enjoys it. The primary school enjoy the event and the Year 12 students do such a good job of enthusing and promoting the intiative to the younger girls that it is always possible to recruit volunteers each year.

Pupil Involvement

The whole of Year 5 from a local primary school, made up of two classes of about 30.