Our Program


Middle and Upper School Library

The Joseph Dana Allen Library is the center of learning and research at Poly, where it serves a diverse population of students, Grades 5 through 12. In 2002, we completed a $1.5 million renovation of the library, increasing capacity, improving online and offline resources, and restoring the library space to its historic splendor. Enter the library and you'll find students reading, working at laptops at our new research stations, meeting in conference rooms, or relaxing in the library lounge.

Our Middle School and Upper School librarians work with individuals, classes, and classroom teachers to help students develop the research and critical thinking skills they need for their class work and for independent lifelong learning.


The library features an extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction books, reference material, periodicals, and licensed Internet databases. Students can browse 50+ magazine subscriptions, from Architectural Digest to Wired, in our Periodicals Reading Room. Our Research Center includes more than 2,000 print reference titles, as well as six computers for student use. The library provides access to 35 scholarly databases for home and on-site use, including JSTOR, Oxford Reference Online, and NewsBank Historical Newspapers.

The library maintains five special collections: Alumni Author Collection, Barr-Trynin Science and Medicine Collection, Edwards Modern Art Collection, Edelman FDR/Churchill Collection, and Feldman Classics Collection. However, endowed accounts that provide general unrestricted support are encouraged, with income from endowed funds used to augment the library’s annual budget.

Current students can visit the library’s Google site to explore pathfinders, browse digital resources, and access our databases.

Hours of Operation:
Mon.–Thu., 8:00 AM–5:45 PM
Fri. 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Loan Period: 1 week
Phone (718) 768-1103
Fax: (718) 768-1687
Books: 25,000+ volumes
DVDs: 700+
Periodicals: 56
Online databases: 35

Lower School Library

The library at the Poly Prep Lower School is located in the front parlor of the mansion. It is a wonderfully sunny space looking out over Prospect Park West

Children come with their class to visit the library each week. While there, they select books for independent reading, learn about the organization of a library, and listen to a story chosen by the librarian. Lower School students are exposed to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction materials, including fairy tales, myths, biographies, short stories, poems, historical fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, and science fiction.

Part of what makes the library experience so enriching is the constant exchange that takes place between students, the librarian, and teachers. The children are encouraged to take responsibility for items borrowed and for the library, and they learn about considerate behavior.

Working with the library staff, parent volunteers make it possible for the library to sponsor literary events and maintain a number of fun, meaningful, reading-centered programs. Some of those include the annual Book Fair, the Birthday Book Club, and Turn-Off-TV Week. The libraries are open at lunchtime and after school every day, so parents can come and borrow books and read with their children. The ultimate aims of the Lower School library are to provide an appealing environment for the children and to promote enthusiasm for books and for reading.

Hours of Operation:
Mon.–Fri., 8:30 AM–3:30 PM
Loan Period: 1 week
Phone (718) 768-1103
Fax: (718) 768-1687

Vision Statement

The library empowers Poly students to be conscious creators and consumers of media and information. Our program aims to build a culture of lifelong learning by maintaining diverse collections, enriching classroom curricula with library resources, and creating an environment conducive to study, collaboration, and inquiry.

Middle and Upper School Library Catalog

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50 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 | (718) 768-1103
9216 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11228 | (718) 836-9800