The IST Library and Information Literacy Center serves the entire school community: students, teachers and parents alike. The library has steadily grown throughout the history of the school. Currently the library collection holds more than 33,000 items with a range of fiction, nonfiction and reference sources, as well as having subscriptions to several print periodicals and online databases, making IST Library a sizeable collection for any school.We are proud of the support we offer to our patrons, and we wish to continue providing the best service we can. To continue to meet the needs of our expanding international community, your input is encouraged. Below find a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we receive. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contactus, and we’ll respond to your query as quickly as we can.

    1. Who can borrow from the library?
    2. How many books can I check out?
    3. Can parents check out books?
    4. How long can I check out a book?
    5. What are the library hours?
    6. What do the stickers on the books mean?
    7. How long can magazines be checked out?
    8. What magazines do we subscribe to?
    9. What online databases does the school subscribe to?
    10. How many items does the library have?
    11. Do the students have library book bags?
    12. What after-school activities are offered in the library?
    13. What is the IST Library Birthday Book Club?
    14. What kind of languages?
    15. Do you have summer reading lists?
    16. What is the library schedule?
    17. How can I recommend books for purchase?
    18. What if I lose a book or other library materials?
    19. How is the library arranged?
    20. What are the library rules?
    21. How do you do book citations?
    22. Does the library check out laptops?
    23. Is there a photocopy machine available?
    24. What does a teacher-librarian do?


Who can borrow from the library?

All members of the IST community – students, parents, teaching assistants and teachers – are welcome to borrow from the library. The first step is to acquire a card from the library. All library cards are kept in the library at the circulation desk. Not all items in the library can be checked out, though the overwhelming majority of volumes can be. For a more detailed list of what can and cannot be checked out, please ask the library staff.

How many books can I check out?

Secondary students may check out up to 10 books at a time for 2 weeks. Elementary students may check out the number of books per grade number. For example, grade 2 may check out two (2) books at one time; grade 4 may check out four (4) books. It is possible for a grade 2 student to check out 10 books in a week. On Monday the student checks out two books and returns two on Tuesday and checks out two more. On Wednesday the student returns two books and checks out two more and follows this pattern for the rest of the week.

Can parents check out books?

Yes. Parents may check out books. They just have to come to the library and sign up for a card. Parents have a two-week lending period with a maximum of ten books.

How long can I check out a book?

All elementary students may check out books for one (1) week.
Secondary students have a two (2) week lending period. Parents and teaching assistants can check out books for two weeks.
Teachers can check out books for one month.
All items can be self-renewed or just stop by the circulation desk to renew unless items have been requested by another patron.

What are the library hours?

The physical library is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM, when school is in session. The virtual library is open 24-7.

What do the stickers on the books mean?

Many of the books on the shelf have colored stickers on the binding in order to easily identify them as within a specific category. The color key is

    • Red: Easy Reader (ER)
    • Pink: Picture books suited for NPK
    • Yellow: Beginning Chapter Books
    • Orange: ESOL readers for older students
    • Purple: Wordless Books (EW)
    • Blue: Young Adult readers

How long can magazines be checked out?

The most recent issue of any magazine may be checked out overnight. Back issues are stored under the display shelf for the current issue. They can be checked out for one week.

To which magazines does the library subscribe?

We subscribe to a wide range of magazines in several different languages, though the majority of our periodicals are in English.

To which online databases does the library subscribe?

The school currently subscribes to several online databases, which expand our abilities to search for information.

How many items does the library have?

Our collection is constantly growing, and presently we have more than 36,000 items, which include books, audio books, DVDs, maps, magazines, databases, etc.

Do the students have library book bags?

To help protect library materials, all lower elementary students are issued a library bag for their stay at IST. If a student loses his or her bag, purchase of a new bag is available for 50 yuan. All lower elementary students must use a library bag to check out and return books.

What extra-curricular activities are offered by the library?

For the elementary school, there is a grade 1-2 library club. This club meets weekly in the first extra-curricular session to prepare the kick-off assembly for International Schools Library Week, which is usually the third week in October.

There is a middle school book club that meets on Mondays after school.

Students sign up for the library extra-curriculars through the CCA online registration form.

The English Department also runs the Writing Center for the secondary school in the library.

What is the IST Library Birthday Book Club?

We also have a birthday club. To celebrate a child’s birthday, a new book from the library collection may be selected for donation and a nameplate will be added to the front of the book to commemorate the child’s birthday. The child will be the first person to check out the book.

Click here for the online Birthday Book Club Request form.

What languages can be found in the library?

Though the overwhelming majority of volumes in the library are English, we also have a growing world languages collection, which include works in the following languages: Chinese, Korean, French, German, Danish, Spanish, Hindi, Dutch, Japanese, Hungarian, and Italian. Donations and recommendations are accepted.

To view books in the OPAC that are not in English,  link  here.


What is the library schedule?

The library schedule is shared on the Entourage server. All elementary students have a weekly scheduled library session. A typical library session may include a read-aloud or a lesson in research skills and includes time for checking out books. Otherwise, flexible scheduling is used for integration of information skills. Students and teachers are able to come to the library throughout the day to use information sources, to read for pleasure, and to meet and work with other students and teachers.

Do you have summer reading lists?

You can find recommended reading lists in the OPAC under Public Lists. In the Visual Search mode, there are Book Lists and under Summer Reads.

How can I recommend books?

We take recommendations in any form. The most preferable is by email. Please include as much as possible, i.e., title, author, ISBN, publisher.

What if I lose a book or other library materials?

If a book or other library materials is lost or damaged, the user will be charged the replacement cost. A 40% shipping/processing fee is included.

How is the library organized?

The library is arranged by using the Dewey Decimal System in the nonfiction section and the first three letters of the author’s last name in the fiction section. You may want to see how well you can Dewey it by following “Do We” Really Know Dewey?

What are the library rules?

The library has a user-friendly environment. The following rules are to help make the library comfortable for everyone’s use.

Library Rules:

    • Be considerate of others who are working
    • Use a quiet voice
    • No open food or drinks
    • Use appropriate language
    • Do not change computer settings
    • Show care when using library resources
    • Use of IST OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) has priority
    • Educational computer games are allowed

How do you do book citations?

We recommend MLA format. For more examples with online guides see Citations.

Does the library check out laptops?

Yes. The library has a bank of 39 MacBooks that can be checked out for use in the library. See Library Macbook Guidelines .

Is there a photocopy machine available?

Yes. There is a photocopy/print/scan machine available in the library. Students must use their smart ID card to print/scan/photocopy. Note that we only load it with paper that has been previously used on one side. If you need double-sided printing, please locate a different photocopier.

What does a teacher-librarian do?

They can do lots of things–provide research advice, suggest a topic with good sources, recommend a good read, help with an online search, locate a good reference source, model how to write a proper citation, find a magazine for a fun read, answer a question, tell a good story, teach information literacy skills in collaboration with your classroom teacher, listen….

Back to the top Any questions? Contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Last updated 5 November 2013.

3 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Their Eyes Were Watching God. You have this book posted on your school web site in its entirety in a pdf format.

    I believe that this books is still currently under copyright in the USA. Posting it for use in this fashion violate the US copyright laws. The teachers at my school have located this file and intend to use it. This concerns me because we live in the USA. I would recommend that you password protect this file so that others cannot access it. Thank you. (I love your web site!)

  2. I came across your lovely Dewey Decimal scheme for primary students on Pinterest and would love to use the ideas in a training package for African librarians that I am developing for Book Aid International. I am writing a short manual for librarians who work with children in public and community libraries in our partner countries, so I am writing for permission to use the “poster” in our manual and in our training slides. We intend to print about 150 copies of the manual to distribute in about 7 countries. REgards Judith Henderson, Project Manager, Book Aid International, London UK. http://www.bookaid.org

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