Welcome to SSA Libraries!

Elementary School Student Reading in Library at Shady Side Academy in PittsburghThe mission of Shady Side's four school libraries reflects the philosophy of the Academy. Each school has a full-time librarian who promotes the enjoyment of literature, develops a collection of diverse information and ideas, provides instruction in the use, selection and retrieval of information and provides students with equal access to resources.

Learn more about each of our libraries below!

Country Day School Library

The library at Country Day is an integral part of each student’s journey to becoming a lifelong reader and an effective researcher. Starting with engaging story times in JPK and ending with advanced research strategies in fifth grade, our library is committed to nurturing a love of books and reading, and to teaching our students to find and use information effectively and ethically. Our librarian works closely with teachers, students and parents to ensure that student information needs and interests are met. Our librarian collaborates with classroom teachers to complete a variety of academic projects and to ensure that assignments are fulfilled.

Library skills are cumulative throughout a child’s duration at Country Day, and each year builds upon the previous one. Many skills that are learned during library time are reinforced during subsequent years. Pre-kindergarten children are introduced to basic library concepts such as author and illustrator whereas students in fifth grade have learned to navigate the library, the library catalog and online tools. Reading aloud takes place at every level to provide exposure to a variety of books and to ensure that the library is a pleasant and comfortable environment for children.

Browse the Country Day School library curriculum.

Access the Country Day School library resources.

Junior School Library

Junior School LibraryThe Junior School library’s primary mission is to nurture a love of books and reading while supporting the classroom curriculum, especially in language arts and social studies. Helping all students to find quality books to love, which fit their interests and abilities, is the focus of the library. The library provides this support through a variety of grade-specific approaches, from interactive story times for our youngest students to the close reading and deeper thinking of Reading Workshop in the older grades. Research skills are built across all grades through library lessons and collaborative projects with classroom teachers.

All students in grades PK-5 have scheduled library times for library lessons, literature promotion, book selection and borrowing. Events such as author and illustrator visits, the annual book fair, and other special literary events enrich the library curriculum.

The Junior School library provides a multitude of fiction and nonfiction titles for students to borrow. The online databases are age-appropriate and engaging. Technology is used to augment learning through use of the iPads and laptops when appropriate. Student time in the library is balanced between structured class time and independent borrowing. As students grow towards independence, our librarian provides guidance and readers’ advisory to help them on this journey. The wonderful work of growing readers relies on the partnership of student, family, teachers and the librarian.

Browse the Junior School library curriculum.

Access the Junior School library resources.

Middle School Library

Middle School LibraryThe Middle School library’s primary mission is to prepare students to become independent and ethical users of information and to promote reading for individual pleasure and academic needs. The library supports the literary, informational and research needs of students through a diverse collection of print and digital resources, library classes, collaborative teaching and the use of emerging technologies.

Students in grades 6-8 have library classes taught by the librarian and sequenced to ensure scaffolding of necessary skills. Borrowing books and gaining an appreciation of literature is promoted through library book clubs, sharing and discussion of literature, and participation in community events and outreach programs. Collaboration with classroom teachers ensure best research practices such as evaluating resources, executing database searches, recognizing plagiarism and creating bibliographies.

The library is open to students for independent and group work throughout the day. Students are encouraged to participate in the book clubs and library activities that make the Middle School library an engaging center for students.

Browse the Middle School library curriculum.

Access the library catalog and LibGuides that contain curricular information, databases, ebooks, and topical media information to keep you informed and research-ready.

Senior School Library

Senior School LibraryThe Senior School library’s primary mission is to support the curriculum while preparing students for the rigors of collegiate research. Through research-based projects in a variety of disciplines, students learn how to access, analyze and synthesize information from a multitude of resources. The librarian collaborates with teachers to create research guides and instruct students in proper research methods and 21st century research skills.

Students visit the library during classes throughout the year, and also use the library as a resource during their free periods, whether for independent study or collaborative group work. Students are welcome to use desktop computers or check out a Chromebook during their time in the library. The librarian offers research appointments for students to meet with her individually to discuss projects and assist with various print and technology-based research options.

The Senior School library owns a vast collection of both print and online resources, including numerous online databases accessible on and off campus. The librarian and library staff are ready and willing to assist students, faculty and staff in accessing our materials to support classwork as well as personal interests.

The library staff also promotes an intrinsic love of reading by encouraging students to explore independent reading options. Students are welcome to join the Library Associates, a group of students who organize special library events and engage in various community activities, such as creating story times for the local library and participating in book trivia contests.

All of our resources, including database links and information, eBooks, catalog, and research guides are available on the SSA Senior School Library LibGuide.