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Librarian, Twilight energize students

Mary Knopp, the Academy of Mount St. Ursula’s full-time certified high school library media specialist, does not want to see her students fall prey to the statistics that indicate a decline in reading among teenagers today. Although the primary mission of a school librarian is to support the curriculum and academic needs of students and teachers, she recognizes the equally important goal of getting teenagers to read simply for pleasure.

In order to encourage reading, students must have access to a large selection of books. Where better to find them then the New York Public Library. On November 19, Knopp invited Lauren Lazar, Senior Young Adult Librarian from the New York Public Library - Mosholu Branch to meet with freshmen in the school’s library. Lazar discussed upcoming public library programs and services, signed students up for library cards, processed Fresh Start Cards (the NYPL fine forgiveness program) and gave several book talks.

She recently jumped on the Twilight book series craze and held a Twilight Book Discussion event in the library to tie in with the upcoming movie release. Students posted responses to discussion questions on the “Totally Twilight” blog that Knopp created specifically for them. They used the school library’s laptop computers to access the blog and responded to such thought provoking questions as:

• Do you think that Bella is a strong or a weak woman? Is she a good role model for young women? How does she fit with your view of feminism?

• Would it appeal to you to live forever? Why or why not?

Within a one-hour period, the Totally Twilight blog received 90 student posts from Mount St. Ursula students!. Knopp frequently engages students with technology in the library. Blogging is a particularly useful tool For more information on the school, visit www.amsu.org.

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