Parents can get news about library resources and services, updated borrowing opportunities, current student projects, exciting new books, eBooks, digital audiobook downloads, educational BrainPop movies, and more.

Students have access to encyclopedias, databases, and books from home. The librarians maintain reading lists on a number of topics, including Summer Reading lists.

The Student page is an ideal jumping-off pad for children who are using a computer—set it up as your child’s homepage for easy access.


The overarching goal of the library program is to help children develop a thoughtful and critical approach to books and media that can serve them in many aspects of their lives. We hope to steadily increase children’s independence in being able to find resources, whether fiction or non-fiction, digital or print, and to help children recognize when they need assistance.

In our approach, we help to build and sustain a culture of reading and a sense of a community of readers. It is our hope that children realize that reading is not a solitary activity but one in which friends and family may participate. By reading picture books and short stories, telling stories and traditional myths, children are encouraged to explore other worlds. This happens very concretely for young children, comparing their world to others. Older students are able to make these ideas abstract and ponder the emotions of the characters and extrapolate themes based on their own knowledge. In this way children learn that reading and discussing books is a safe way to share ideas, feelings, and beliefs.

The library is one of the few places where children are able to explore freely. While parameters may be given on what books children are to look for, in general a point is made to have students use their imagination and push the boundaries of their reading interests. Learning to take risks, learning that it is acceptable to fail, is a difficult skill. Through their choices children learn to be more self-reliant; building on this confidence they are able to safely explore their world.

Learning to take risks, learning that it is acceptable to fail, is a difficult skill. Through their choices children learn to be more self-reliant. Building on this confidence they are able to safely explore their world."

Throughout the years, children are encouraged to come to the library to look for answers. Starting at a young age they are given the vocabulary and framework to articulate their questions. As they mature, they are taught the skills to use a variety of print and electronic resources to answer their questions. As important as it is to teach the technical research skills, we also push students to think about how to evaluate these resources and question their value for a given project.

We are blessed to have a very rich, broad assortment of media to support the curriculum and pursuits of this community. We strive to make the collection reflective of the broad range of interests, cultures, and reading levels of our population. Our collection includes books, audiobooks in several formats, magazines, and videos. Our website, especially the Student homepage, extends the library beyond our walls and our school day in order to support the curriculum and guide students and parents to useful resources at any time.

Metis System

Helping children develop a thoughtful and analytical approach to books and media is the goal of Ethical Culture’s Library. The librarians developed Metis, a child-centered and intuitive classification system that encourages student independence and success in using the library’s rich resources.

In creating the new system, the librarians prioritized the needs of young children, employing visual aids as much as possible so that pre-readers, too, will have access to the library’s collection.

Using whole language rather than code, and alphabetization rather than decimals, the library builds upon skills the children are learning at the youngest ages. Blurring the hard line between fiction and non-fiction, the library allows a student to see informational texts displayed right next to fictional accounts about that topic, allowing for a deeper engagement with the material. During their library classes, students read and discuss books and learn how to use the library, which features audiobooks and a child-friendly online catalog, and offers access to digital encyclopedias and databases. The librarians collaborate with grade-wide teams to teach the safe and effective use of technology through a variety of online tools and platforms as needed for research and class projects.



Mon-Thurs 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM


8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM


After-school hours are open for parents and caregivers to read with their PreK-3rd grade children in the library. Up to 12 students in grades 4-5 may use this time in the library for independent work by signing up with library staff. The weekly sign-up sheet is kept at the circulation desk.

Contact the EC Library


, Librarian, PreK-2
, Librarian, 3-5
, Media/Tech Librarian


(212) 712-6264