The library is one of Malden High School’s most popular facilities. Many kids go there to do their schoolwork; many go when their teacher is absent; some go there to simply take a short nap. Students will occasionally visit the library to talk with friends and possibly try out one of the various games available. However, it appears that many students are unaware of the library’s main purpose: to check out books to read.

The school librarian, Mary Liberge, elaborated on this. “Students need time to read for pleasure,” she noted. “So many of our students have many responsibilities that do not allow them to pick up a book for pleasure. If they had some time during their school day to put away the social media and just read, some students may actually find that they really do enjoy reading and will continue to do so.” She went on to say that we, as a school, need to show students that reading is important and enjoyable.

Merari Flores, a freshman and dedicated reader, expanded on this further. “I know a lot of people who don’t like to read at all,” she stated. “I do know people who like to read, but some people may not have the best attention spans, so it really depends on the person.”

After observing the lack of reading enthusiasm in the school and talking with some students, Liberge started putting her effort into creating a student focus group to brainstorm some ideas on how to increase the reading culture at the school. Although the group that is being formed as of now targets seniors, Liberge plans on organizing focus groups for the additional grades in the future. 

Liberge hopes that the result of the group will be “a school-wide culture of reading where students and staff are talking about books they are reading, have read, or can’t wait to read.” The goal is to “create a buzz about reading and make it something that students will enjoy.”

“I think everybody should read, and we need to show our students that it can be beneficial to them,” Liberge said. “I feel that reading is good for multiple reasons: it helps to build literacy skills, which are needed when they get out of school; it helps to improve academic achievement; it allows them to navigate the global information literacy of today’s world; it helps to improve vocabulary and increases memory; it can help to relieve stress and get students away from social media for a while; it increases empathy and concentration and, for some, may help them fall asleep. Plus, it can be fun.”

Flores elaborated on this, saying that she reads often because it is “a break from reality.”

At the moment, Mrs. Liberge is looking for a senior who would be willing to help. Refreshments will be served.

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