The Joan Lingard Library
Bloomfield had the privilege of welcoming the Education Minister, Ms Michelle McIlveen MLA, to the school for the official opening of the Joan Lingard library in the Neill building. Last summer saw the library move all of its 6000+ books into the Learning Centre, with the purpose of creating a multi-functional learning resource hub.
The decision to call the library after Joan Lingard was made to honour this celebrated author of books such as the much loved ‘Kevin and Sadie’ series, which is set during the era of the Northern Ireland troubles.
Ms Lingard had spent some of her formative school years at Bloomfield in the years 1943-48. In her message to the school, she reflected on this time, saying, “I’d like to thank you for naming your library after me. It’s a big honour to have a legacy like that, particularly at Bloomfield Collegiate. I loved my time there and I had a great gang of friends.”
In developing the new library space that idea of friendship is very much at the heart of things – it’s designed to be a relaxing space to be with friends during free time as well as a space to study, read and do computer research. The wishes of pupils were very much taken into consideration when creating this space with the LED lights and sixth form art students are to be congratulated and thanked on their design for the walls.
Of course, the books themselves are also crucial to the library – with all the scientifically proven benefits that reading provides, in terms of positive mental health as well as educational attainment, it is hoped that all pupils will avail themselves regularly of this invaluable resource.
It is fitting to end with Joan Lingard’s words to us as a school – “I really hope that you enjoy your new library. I wish you all the luck for the future.”