Cheltenham College, Cheltenham

The Challenge

Rated by ISI as “Outstanding”, Cheltenham College has been educating young people since 1841. The College is one of the foremost public schools in the country, with an enviable reputation for academic achievement and the breadth of its extra-curricular programme. The College aims to provide a first class all-round education, combining stunning traditional surroundings with a dynamic and modern co-educational context.

Following a substantial donation to fund improvements in the College’s library by a former pupil, John Chatfeild-Roberts, the decision was taken to rename it the Chatfeild-Roberts library. GBE Converge were approached to partner the College with the challenge to provide a state of the art library that embraced the latest technology whilst encouraging independent study. The new library had to blend the historic nature of the building, with practicality, functionality and comfort.


"It is essential that school libraries not only provide both print and digital media for their pupils. What is perhaps most significant, is that pupils have told us that whereas previously they never used the library they now come in every day”. Ginette Doyle, Head Librarian Cheltenham College

The Solution

GBE Converge’s solution was a national awards nominated package that included laptop stations, iPad kiosks and a flat screen TV.

Designed to meet the brief of facilitating independent study, the new library has a new catalogue and library management system, provided on iPads that stand in kiosks. An interactive map facility shows pupils where a book can be located and most books can be identified by a picture of the front cover.

Comfort is blended with practicality with sofas and plugs at every desk for personal laptops.

The library also features a resources room with a large screen TV for presentations and places for 30 laptops.
Cheltenham College Head Librarian Ginette Doyle, emphasised the important role that libraries still have to play in education. “The design is a wonderful blend of heritage and contemporary design and it is this blend which has caught the eye of the judges from the School Library Design Award. Our library is now a light, airy and open space which encourages study through its lovely, calm atmosphere.”

Martyn Smith, Managing Director of GBE Converge commented on the new College Library. “We were delighted to have been chosen by the College for this prestigious project. It allowed us to deploy a range of leading edge technologies and further enhances our growing reputation for seamlessly integrating this type of technology into historic buildings. The feedback from the pupils has been very positive and the endorsement of being shortlisted for a national award is tremendous and a credit to our staff”.