Unique program encourages teen reading – Metro US

Unique program encourages teen reading

More than 24,700 — and counting.

For a high school with just 550 students, the number of books borrowed from the library at Sir Robert L. Borden Business and Technical Institute is the highest in the Toronto board, higher than secondary schools four times its size.

And that number is still on the rise, as teacher-librarian Peggy MacInnis wraps up her third annual “summer sign-out,” where she trusts teens enough to let them take out books for the next two months.
Some borrow 30, 60, even 100.

“What good is it having this many books on the shelves all summer?” MacInnis said of her holiday book loan, unique in the Toronto board.

Not one volume has gone missing in the past two summers.

“I will get 100 per cent return,” she said. “I know these kids really well. They sign out books every day.”

Students are hooked on graphic novels, which they can read in a couple of hours, sometimes less.

MacInnis has even started a Friday lunch-hour book club, which has 20 members, and posts student pictures on her “wall of fame” once they’ve read 100 books.

“They don’t read traditional literature,” she said. “It doesn’t click.”

Four years ago, before stocking the shelves with graphic novels, students borrowed just 500 books during the entire school year.

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