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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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LMC’s Contests, Competitions Command Student Engagement

Nonnewaug LMC/Instagram
Library assistants Dawn Maletzke, left, and Stephanie Deering show off the new bulletin board outside the LMC, decorated just in time for the end of the fall season.

WOODBURY — People worldwide are well accustomed to the stereotype that libraries are filled with boring librarians and endless textbooks with the same useless information.

Contrary to this pattern, however, the library media specialists here at Nonnewaug twist this narrative to accommodate more student activities, an engagement rarely seen here before. These librarians are humble in their pursuit to facilitate creative engagement among students.

“Since I was new last year, I’m not sure what the level of engagement was before the contests,” says Deborah Flaherty, library media specialist at Nonnewaug. “I do feel that students now expect the challenges and contests as a regular part of the LMC agenda. $25 gift cards are a small price to pay for student engagement, so I am glad they have been generating interest.”

The LMC has increased in popularity due to the influx of innovative contests taking over the entire library media center. From two-sentence scary story competitions to the Tribe Table Podcast, the library at Nonnewaug has gathered a reputation for being a fun and creative place to spend your time.

“The LMC is great,” says Katie Alexander, a senior at Nonnewaug. “It’s a fun way to spend your time. You can hang out with your friends and socialize, or work on schoolwork.”

There has been a multitude of different contests that the LMC has given out to students as of late. Many have a list of favorites that have amounted to an increase in overall student engagement. 

The LMC is always getting new books in, and the library media specialists display them proudly on social media. (Nonnewaug LMC/Instagram)

“This is a tough one,” says Flaherty. “I think I will say the first one we did, Free Rice, was one of the best. It helped advance the school goal of increasing vocabulary and could be subject-specific so teachers and students could apply it to different classes. The best part of Free Rice, however, is that for every correct response, rice is donated to hungry people around the world. I need to bring this one back and make it annual. I am excited about our newest Keva Plank holiday challenge because it’s the first one that requires building a structure.”

With the library media center going through a period of growth over the years, students around campus have seen a positive change in their attitude toward the library. What once could have been a plain old school library has amounted to a fun, productive environment that the high school greatly appreciated. 

“Overall, the LMC has done a great job engaging students,” said Alexander. “There are always fun book displays and the library staff are always available to answer questions and recommend good books.”

About the Contributor
Madison Stewart '24
Madison Stewart '24, Senior Editor
Madison Stewart is a senior editor for the NHS Chief Advocate. She is a senior at Nonnewaug High School and treasurer for the Class of 2024. She likes to get involved with multiple honor societies and clubs around the school.
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