The Royal Belfast Academical Institution




Mrs Kathy Lindsay, Librarian

Ms Avril Halley, Assistant Librarian

Located in the beautifully restored Christ Church building, the RBAI library is a bright and welcoming environment where pupils may work independently, carry out research or simply sit and read.

Staffed by a full-time professional librarian and part-time assistant, the library is open every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Pupils have free access to all resources which include some 11,000 books, newspapers and magazines. There is remote access to the school’s e-book library through SORA the Overdrive App, whilst access to the library’s digital data base subscriptions is available through our ilibrary at

The library is wi-fi enabled and has many chrome-books for pupil use, whilst sixth form can bring their own devices and connect to the school system.

The library staff are committed to the promotion of literacy and encourage reading for enjoyment and to this end try to keep the stock as up to date as possible, reflecting the very latest juvenile and young adult titles as well as a special section devoted to sixth form leisure reading. A pupil request system helps to address any holes in current provision and boys are encouraged to widen their reading tastes through a series of in-house leaflets ‘What to read after…’ and to take part in various reading challenges.

The library holds regular events throughout the year, with visiting authors featuring as a customary calendar slot. Over the years, names such as Darren Shan, Garth Nix, Joe Craig, Robert Muchamore, Alex Scarrow, Dan Freedman, Dave Rudden, Christopher Will Hill and many others, have visited. Most recently we moved into the world of virtual visits when Chris Bradford was beamed in to three classes simultaneously to deliver his interactive Samurai workshop.

Other activities include creative writing workshops and our virtual book club. Many pupils shadow Book Awards, reading the short-listed titles, taking part in various associated workshops and inter-school events. All are publicised through the library Google classrooms.


Pupils in years 8 and 9 participate in the Accelerated Reader scheme where boys take online quizzes based on our reading stock. This has had a positive affect not only in improving reading skills, but also in encouraging enjoyment of reading and increasing awareness of authors. Parents can elect to receive emails when their child takes a quiz and in this way keep informed of their son’s reading. A summer ‘Celebration of Success’ takes place annually and is a means of marking the achievements of the ‘book millionaire’s and those who have exceeded expectations.

By way of supporting curriculum projects, the library offers various topic files ranging from ‘Adaptation’ to ‘the Peasant’s Revolt’ in addition to a huge stock of non-fiction books.

KS4 and 5

Hard copy revision materials in addition to wider curricular reading, a huge array of newspaper cuttings and magazines all support the curriculum within the confines of the library, whilst access to various digital archives including Philip Allan, Complete Issues, Media Magazine etc. bring the library out of its physical constraints through electronic accessibility via the ilibrary –

And with an eye on the future, concerns such as plagiarism or how to use ‘Google Scholar’ effectively are also addressed through this means, so that pupils are aware of what is at stake in this cut and paste generation.

22 2024
GCSE Results Day
27 2024
Scouts International Jamboree - Summer Camp
14 2024
AS/A2 Results Day
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2024 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution