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Smallbone Library

The Smallbone Library occupies a pivotal space in the intellectual and academic life of Oakham School.

Covering 2,400 square metres over two floors, and housing in excess of 30,000 books, complemented by a wide range of periodicals and online resources, the Library provides space for both silent and collaborative work, with or without computers.

The Upper Library includes a dedicated room for the teaching of research skills and library-based lessons, while the Lower Library includes a seminar room with a Harkness table around which pupils and staff can discuss ideas in an open-minded and encouraging environment.

We believe that there are three ways in which the Smallbone Library can lay claim to be one of the finest school libraries in the country:

  • The space. Few school libraries offer such an attractive and stimulating working environment and on such a generous scale.
  • The resources. Our academic collection balances a substantial number of carefully chosen books with a truly impressive range of subscription databases, the majority of which you will find at university. Our well-thumbed and up-to-date fiction collection, meanwhile, bears out research demonstrating the staying power of the printed word.
  • The staff. Our investment in a team of 4 professionally qualified Librarians and 4 professionally trained Library Assistants ensures world-class instruction in how to learn for yourself from information. This also means that there is almost certainly a member of Library staff who shares your reading tastes and habits.

The Library's physical centrality means that it is a focal point for celebrating the intellectual, academic and cultural life of the School. Consequently, the Library is host to a rich variety of displays, performances, events and talks that showcase excellence across the curriculum.


Term-time opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday 08.30–21.15
  • Saturday 08.00–16.00
  • Sunday 14.00–18.00
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