The Washington Christian Academy Library is comprised of approximately 6,500 titles for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The collection includes Newberry medal winning books from 1923 to the present and Caldecott winning picture books from 1939 to the present.
Our librarian strongly believes in the necessity of reading old books along with the new, following C.S. Lewis’ own advice that, “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” Lewis cautions us that each age has its own perspective and by reading old books, we are corrected of the biases of contemporary society. Older children's books, for example, have dissimilar depictions of heroes, authority figures, and violence than many of today’s children’s books.
Our librarian encourages children to read the books that have stood the test of time and the works of authors who have influenced others to write well-loved books. George MacDonald, for example, was an inspiration to J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle and E. Nesbit. He was also a mentor to Lewis Carroll and convinced him to publish his first children’s book, Alice in Wonderland. G.K. Chesterton said of MacDonald’s book, The Princess and the Goblin, that it had "made a difference to my whole existence." The WCA library collection contains seven of MacDonald’s books, as well as the writings of other consummate children’s authors, such as J.M. Barrie, Lewis Caroll, L. Frank Baum, Louisa May Alcott, Hugh Lofting, and Lloyd Alexander.
Most children are no longer reading books that are one hundred years old or more, but many of these are the true gems of children’s literature, filled with creativity, lyrical language, and multifaceted characters. Students will be encouraged by the teachers and the librarian at WCA to become individuals who appreciate reading quality literature for the rest of their lives.
The library also subscribes to seventeen magazine titles. Younger children can enjoy Highlights and Your Big Backyard. Upper School students can read such titles as Popular Mechanics, World Magazine, and The Week. Diverse political perspectives demonstrate to students the various ways topics are packaged by the media. Students can clearly see this in political publications such as The National Review and Mother Jones. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal are also available for students and staff to peruse daily.
The library subscribes to a general knowledge database created by ProQuest LLC in order to help students learn how to access legitimate information through an internet gateway. Academic databases provide students with high-quality information in an electronic format. Students and parents can also access this academic database from their home computer if there is a connection to the internet. Students can access online encyclopedias, almanacs, maps, and articles on a wide range of subjects, such as sports, current events, health, and social issues.