The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools library program is designed to nurture children's love of literature and their enthusiasm for investigating the existing body of knowledge on any given subject of interest. The program builds skills incrementally over the years, giving students the ability to independently use and enjoy library resources. Knowledge and skills gained through the program help to form a strong foundation for lifelong learning. An important component of the program is information literacy: finding, organizing, evaluating and synthesizing information in all of its formats. At each step of their encounter with library use, students are given instruction and support, and then they move to more independent and sophisticated uses of library resources. The library program coordinates with curriculum in each school, particularly in areas of language arts, social studies, science, and literature. Skills and dispositions learned through library use allow students to explore the wide range of human experience through a variety of media.

Lower School Library Experience

Students in the Lower School are encouraged to read both for pleasure and for information. As they progress through Lower School, students gain an awareness and appreciation for a wide variety of literature. They also begin to learn the skills necessary to use the library independently. The Lower School library program provides support to classroom and special area teachers and attempts to integrate library goals and objectives with their curricula when possible.


A unique part of Knes Family Library's program is storytelling. Students in kindergarten, first, and second grades hear a story every week, usually traditional tales from around the world, learned by the librarians and told without any books or props to distract attention from the story itself. In addition to being a great deal of fun, storytelling enhances language acquisition and attention span, as well as reading, writing, memory, and visualization skills.

Literature appreciation and library skills

Every year, authors and/or illustrators visit first through fourth grade students to talk to them about the creative process. During weekly library class times, second through fourth graders are introduced to a cross-section of appropriate literature, including fiction, nonfiction, and folklore. Third and fourth graders begin to evaluate literature critically by participating in the Sutherland Award program. As students progress through the grades, they begin to use the library more independently by learning the call number system and learning to use the online library catalog. In fourth grade, students are introduced to basic research skills and materials.

Library Web Pages

Lim Family Library

Monday: 8:00-3:30
Tuesday: 8:00-2:45
Wednesday: 8:00-3:30
Thursday: 8:00-3:30
Friday: 8:00-3:00


Knes Family Library

Monday: 8:00-3:25
Tuesday: 8:00-2:45
Wednesday: 8:00-3:45
Thursday: 8:00-3:45
Friday: 8:00-3:00


Rowley Middle School Library

Mon, Wed, Thurs: 7:30-4:00
Tues, Fri: 7:30-3:30

Rowley High School Library

Mon, Wed, Thurs: 7:30-4:00
Tues, Fri: 7:30-3:30


Library Resources

Lim Family Library Catalog

Knes Family Library Catalog

Rowley Library Catalog

Database Access