Meet our new Librarian: Miss Smith

Posted on 5th October 2023

We caught up with our new school Librarian, Miss Katie Smith, to find out a bit more about her and what she’s looking forward to this year.

Did you always want to be a librarian?

I have always been an avid reader and loved my school library as a pupil. I would spend all my free periods in the library or with friends discussing books. I attended all of the library clubs and activities and quickly found myself adopting an unofficial Student Librarian role.

After school and Sixth Form I attended university, first gaining my BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree and then began to study for a Primary Education PGCE. It was during the latter when I realised that working within education was what I wanted to do but I found that class teaching wasn’t quite the right fit, so I began to explore other roles and opportunities.

I was very fortunate to quickly find a School Librarian position within my local high school, and I learned a lot from my in-Trust Mentor preparing for my future within school libraries.

I know I still have more to learn and am planning on gaining an MA in Information and Library Studies.

What’s the best part about being a school librarian?

I really get to experience the best of all roles. My duties range from teaching (I periodically will host Information Literacy workshops) to having the time and creative freedom to design displays and host events.

Being in a library, I get to see students beyond the classroom, and help them find books to read for pleasure, or with researching personal interests.

“Being a school Librarian is a unique role, and in my opinion, the best job in the world.”

Miss Katie Smith, Norwich High School for Girls Librarian

What’s your favourite book?

As a Librarian I get this question a lot! And it really is a difficult question to answer …

Books are so diverse, and I will love a book for so many different reasons.

I love Pumpkin Soup, a picture book by Helen Cooper, as it was my favourite as a child. It’s a cosy autumnal read with beautiful artwork throughout.

As a teen I began reading works by Patrick Ness and found a lot of connection with his work The Rest of Us Just Live Here. It looks at the side-characters, the characters that aren’t busy saving the world but just trying to get by and, just like the character Mikey, my brother was struggling with extreme OCD.

As of today, I read across genres and struggle to pin down a single “favourite” book, so instead I will give you my last “5 Star Read”, Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree. This charming, cozy, low-stakes fantasy follows Viv, an Orc that’s decided to leave her adventuring life behind and open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Along the way she makes new unlikely friends and finds peace in the quiet life. Lately this book has gained a lot of popularity on “Book Tok” and it’s clear why.

What books would you recommend?

Here’s a list based on age and ability!

Early Readers:

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

While the title and cover don’t give much away, this book is extremely funny. Designed for adults to read aloud the book finds humour in making the reader say various strange things, because when you ask an adult to read, they have to say what’s on the page!

Young readers:

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

This young female detective story is the first in a series. In this story we join Ottoline and her hairy companion Mr Munroe as they work to expose a feline cat burglar.


The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

This book’s writing is a stream-of-consciousness that blends between two characters.

Natalie is struggling socially after her mum recently passed away and sets out to complete her mother’s goal of swimming the channel for charity.

Meanwhile Sammy is fleeing from his war-torn country, undertaking a dangerous journey in the hopes of being able to cross the channel and start a new life in the UK.

This book is tense and at times heart breaking, but a story worth reading.

Young Adult:

Love is for Losers by Wibke Bruggemann

A funny, coming of age story about accepting who you are and appreciating the small things in life.

Phoebe is fifteen, starting her GCSE year and her best friend has got her first real boyfriend. With nothing better to do she gets roped into volunteering at a local Charity Shop and meets Emma, and she starts to question if her feelings for Emma are just of friendship or if there could be something more…

Why are libraries important?

When people think of libraries they will often think of books and little else, but there is so much more on offer.

The library is a community space and should adapt to the needs of its users, offering times for focused study, group learning and extra-curricular social opportunities (I like to host a range of clubs and activities throughout the year – so do pop-in and see what’s on).

What are you looking forward to this year at Norwich High?

This week I have already met so many fantastic people and I’m really looking forward to working the students at Norwich High School for Girls.

It’s going to be a fun challenge making this library my own and I have some big ideas that I am hoping will be coming soon!