Academic Program



The libraries at Spence are at the center of the school community, providing opportunities for reading and research, whether it’s in support of classroom work or simply to explore a particular area of interest. Each library offers a comfortable, welcoming and supportive learning environment. Surrounded by books and other resources, students gain an appreciation of reading and researching as sources of both pleasure and personal growth.
Directed by the Spence motto, “Not for School but for life we learn,” students work with librarians and teachers to master increasingly sophisticated research skills in a rapidly evolving world. Through their work in the library, students use the full scope of Spence resources available, gaining confidence to conduct successful research well into the future.

Literature is explored throughout all grades with read-alouds, displays and book discussions. In addition, librarians guide students in choosing pleasure reading and prepare extensive age-appropriate reading lists. By learning to locate and use information as well as developing a love of reading, Spence students become lifelong learners

Lower School Library

The Lower School program provides students with opportunities to learn how to locate, evaluate and use information in printed and online resources; develop critical thinking skills; and deepen their learning in content areas across the curriculum. Kindergartners begin weekly library classes and continue with every grade to become more independent, confident and effective researchers. Learning activities are integrated into the curriculum to help students develop strategies to access, identify, evaluate and use information in all content areas. Students learn how to search our library catalog to find books and other resources, and part of each library class is devoted to helping students choose books to read for personal enrichment. 
A carefully built collection of more than 12,500 volumes contains books and audiobooks and more than 1500 ebooks. The library subscribes to age-appropriate periodicals and offers access to thousands of full text articles through our research databases, encyclopedias and other online resources.

Lower School Library Faculty

Maureen DiPaola
Lower School Librarian
Rosa Ovejero
Lower School Library Assistant

Middle and Upper School

The Middle and Upper School Library is a welcoming, vibrant and comfortable gathering place for students and adults. Throughout the school day, Spence community members use the space to read, research, study and connect with one another.  

The library program nurtures learning and helps students acquire the  focused research skills necessary for navigating today’s vast and rich information world. Our library staff is committed to ensuring that all Spence students become fluent, sophisticated and proficient information users. 
Our librarians collaborate closely with teachers to develop and implement research experiences for our students. In the course of these experiences, students learn how to form focused research questions, identify and search a wide range of resources, critically evaluate information, cite sources and reflect thoughtfully on the research process. Often, librarians and students individually meet in consultation as research projects progress, and our librarians actively guide students in using the multitude of resources available at and beyond Spence.
A cornerstone of the Middle and Upper School Library is our rich collection of more than 125 online research databases. These databases provide access to thousands of publications, including academic journals, encyclopedias and other sources that delve deeply into a wide range of topics.  For each research project, our librarians create customized and detailed online research guides, known as LibGuides, to help students and teachers navigate the research process.

The library also provides thoughtfully curated and age-appropriate fiction, non-fiction and graphic novel collections and periodicals to foster a lifelong love of reading.  The Middle and Upper School Library offers a collection of approximately 12,000 physical books and many thousands of ebooks. Students learn how to search our library catalog and ebook platform to find what they are looking for in these collections.

Middle and Upper School Library Faculty

Suzanne Crow 
Director of Library and Information Services and Grade 8 Dean
Meagan Kane 
Upper School Librarian
Liz Lewis 
Middle and Upper School Library Assistant
A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


© 2023 Spence School