The 2023-24 LA Library Team. From left: Lincoln Academy librarian Laura Phelps with Library Team members, Meara McManus, Lindsey Powell, Ella Pendleton, Kendra Gladu, Freya Drum, Neptune Martin, Maggie Sawyer, Reese Achorn, Micah Bassett, Elliott Heath.

On Tuesday, January 30 over 60 elementary and middle school students from AOS 93 spent the day at Lincoln Academy as part of the LA Library’s Battle of the Books program. The program is a collaboration between AOS 93 and LA librarians. Student participants read titles from the Maine Student Book Award list and meet during lunches throughout the school year at their own schools for book discussions.

This year, the Battle at LA included two rounds – the first round was a virtual state-wide competition called The Great Maine Book Tournament (GMBT), while the second round consisted of questions created by student participants. The Great Salt Bay middle school team won the GMBT and will continue on to the regional competition in February.

All of the contestants demonstrated an impressive and clear familiarity with the chosen books, as evidenced by their high scores in the trivia contest. They also seemed to be having a great time. After the competitions, students finished their day at Lincoln Academy with a pizza party in the Library.

In addition to the librarians, the Battle of the Books was coordinated by LA students who are part of the Library Team, a club at LA that celebrates reading and literacy, organizes library events, and helps select books for the library.

The goals of the program are to inspire a love of reading, and introduce middle school students to the LA library and its programs, according to LA Librarian Laura Phelps. “We love seeing the enthusiasm and passion that these students have for reading. It’s exciting for us to meet potential LA Library Team members too and to see them interact with current LA students.”

“It was exciting for me to see the kids excited about something that they’ve clearly been working on and seeing it all come to fruition for them,” said LA Library Team member Reese Achorn.

“When I was in middle school, I was going to do the Battle of the Books, but then Covid happened, so I couldn’t,” said Maggie Sawyer. “It was fun to be able to participate as a volunteer.”

LA English Teacher and GSB parent Chelsea Scott loved the event, saying “During the competition, kids were excited, engaged, and working together, all for the love of books! It was a joy to witness both my own child and her friends smiling, wrestling with questions, and sharing their knowledge in such a respectful, nurturing environment.”

The next LA Library event is February’s Books and Breakfast, which will feature the book Northeaster: A Story of Courage and Survival in the Blizzard of 1952 and a virtual visit with author Cathie Pelletier. This event will take place on February 28th at 7:30am.