Local librarian Stephanie Gauchier has found multiple ways to encourage students read books.
Gauchier said that due to technology nowadays, it is harder for her to convince kids to read and enjoy physical books.
One of her methods is a club called Battle of the Books for students from Grade 4 to 6. The students are given six novels to read throughout the year and they meet to discuss them. The novels can range from contemporary to classics to give them an introduction to books that they might not have chosen on their own.
"It's a good opportunity as well to get to know the students," noted Gauchier.
Since starting Battle of the Books four years ago, the club has grown out of just Glen Allan Elementary. Gauchier has teamed up with other librarians across the district, bringing 14 schools together for friendly competition.
At this year's first meeting for Battle of the Books, over 60 students showed up.
"Students have siblings, so it kind of gets the interest in the younger grades. And by the time they get to grade 4, they're rearing to go and sign up for battle."
Another one of Gauchier's methods to encourage students to read is a Harry Potter system
she created, where each grade is sorted into houses like in the novels.
"I wanted to try to do the fun route. Make libraries more fun and interesting, a little noisy and interactive," Gauchier explained. "It's always a gamble. Sometimes it works really well, other times it doesn't, but at least I know I tried, no matter how crazy the idea is. It's thinking out of the box."
Gauchier added that she is fortunate to work with such a willing staff, in particular with Grade 4 teacher Jennifer Miles da Silva, who helps run the Battle of the Books program.
"I'm very lucky that I work in a supportive environment. The people I work with let me try my crazy ideas, no matter how crazy they get. It's a comfortable place where I can get creative and just try it."