There are a multitude of resources available to Concord Academy students within our own library and beyond. With so many tools at our fingertips, it can be hard to remember all that CA’s J. Josephine Tucker Library has to offer. I spoke with our librarian, Martha Kennedy, to learn more about the services that we have access to as CA students. 

The J. Josephine Tucker Library contains about 20,000 items, most of which are related to the courses CA offers. Kennedy collaborates with teachers to collect the texts for their courses and then places them on carts so that students can easily access them. In addition, CA has a robust visual arts collection that Kennedy believes rivals that of many public libraries and libraries at other private schools. We are also lucky to be located right next to the Concord Free Public Library, which contains approximately 250,000 items. They will be opening a makerspace and a teen center in December, both of which will be very useful for CA students, and can be accessed simply by walking across the street. If neither the CA or Concord library have the book a student requests, Kennedy can help them find a copy through the Minuteman Library Network. “Being the neighbor of the Concord Free Public Library, which is of one of the members of Minuteman, all CA students will get a Minuteman card, whether they live already in a Minuteman town or they are coming to us from Thailand, or California, or Carlisle, which is actually in the Merrimack Valley region,” explained Kennedy. “Having a Minuteman card allows students to access network resources as well as state library resources. It’s a multi-tiered access.” 

Kennedy also offers a variety of supplies, all of which can be found on the orange cart in the library. Here, students can find pens, pencils, colored pencils, construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, staplers, tape, hole punchers, index cards, and so much more. Next to the cart, students can find CA’s printers and copiers, which Kennedy will happily help students use. “I want to be sure that we are able to provide the resources that all our students need,” Kennedy shared. “We are always happy to work with students. We want to be a friendly place where students feel that no question is a silly question.” 

The library website, which can be accessed through CA Connect, clearly outlines the various online tools available to students, faculty, and staff. Our library subscribes to a variety of online magazines and journals, such as Flipster, the New York Times, and Scientific American. Through our Minuteman library cards, we have access to streaming platforms such as Overdrive and Hoopla, allowing us to access audio and eBooks, as well as films. These online tools are something that many of us tend to overlook, but can be very useful for research projects. “When students are doing research, instead of jumping to Wikipedia or Google, it makes sense to go to these peer reviewed or focused collections,” emphasized Kennedy.

Kennedy also considers herself to be a resource for CA students and encourages all students to approach her with any questions, concerns, or ideas. She is more than willing to help students collect any texts or media they might need when carrying out their research, whether it be for a departmental study, senior project, or class. Moreover, she loves helping students find books to read for fun and wants student leaders to know that she is available to help them find any information they may need in planning meetings for their organizations. 

The library, and our amazing librarian, Kennedy, are both outstanding resources that CA students should not take for granted. Next time you are doing some research, looking for a book to read on fall break, or planning a meeting for your club or organization, be sure to check out the library website, or ask Kennedy for some help collecting resources. Take advantage of the tools that CA has to offer and be sure to show your gratitude to the library staff for all that they do.