The Jane Craige Gray '32 Library is the new heart of the NCS learning experience. It provides students the tools they need to pursue collegiate-level research, surrounded by a stunningly beautiful space that gives a scholar inspiration to achieve new heights.
The library is the result of years of study into what best serves future needs and challenges. Print plays an important role—NCS's 60,000-book collection is finally gathered in one space—but this carefully designed facility also has the space and capability to encourage digital learning. The electronic collection allows students to track down information from far beyond the Beltway, and teachers and librarians are at hand to provide in-depth training on making the most of database sleuthing.
Girls at NCS love to support each other, and the Gray Library encourages that teamwork: Seminar rooms enable several students to work collaboratively on a big project without disturbing others, and flexible common spaces allow smaller groups to gather on the fly.
The Gray Library is also home to NCS's multimedia instruction, where a student transforms her research not into a term paper but into a presentation, choosing the format that best suits the subject matter and the audience.
The Gray Library is primarily a place where schoolwork gets done, but it's also a destination in its own right, one that invites students to gather, linger, and curl up with a good book. The two-story views of the Washington National Cathedral are breathtaking, and the southern exposure means the common areas are always filled with plenty of sunlight. NCS cherishes community, and the Sisters Café serves as a social hub on the library's upper floor. It's an informal gathering place for book clubs, poetry readings, and alumnae get-togethers.
For more than 100 years, National Cathedral School has been dedicated to developing outstanding scholars, and its libraries have always been central to that mission. The Jane Craige Gray '32 Library is the latest incarnation of that commitment, and it stands as a testament to what a motivated community of parents, alumnae, and friends can produce.