Anne Maher honored for work at Rindge Memorial School

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-15-2023 4:48 PM

Anne Maher has been named the New Hampshire School Library and Media Association's Library Media Associate of the Year for her work at Rindge Memorial School.

Maher was nominated by the school's librarian, Nicole Tenters. She has worked at the school for the past six years.

"I was surprised. Honored, and delighted, but surprised. I didn't even know she had nominated me," Maher said.  "I do love my job, but I think I'm successful because of the support of the community that is Rindge Memorial School."

Maher holds a bachelor's degree in English and elementary education, and said she originally wanted to be a teacher. But her love of libraries runs deep.

It's a love she comes by naturally, as her mother worked as a school librarian from 1990 to 2008. In fact, she was Rindge Memorial School's librarian during that time meaning Maher had an example to follow.

Maher's first summer job at the age of 15 was shelving books for Jaffrey Public Library, which was her hometown library.

"I've always had a deep love of reading, which is something I think is important for children's development," Maher said. "Reading all kinds of books, not just the ones you're assigned, is helpful in all walks of life."

And libraries and librarians are an important facet of building that love of reading, Maher said.

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"I think at the heart of any community that's well-rounded and successful is the library," Maher said.

In her role at the Rindge Memorial School library, Maher assists in circulation -- checking books in and out and shelving them -- creating and implementing reading incentive programs and assisting classes who come to the library for their weekly "specials" class, in rotation with other classes such as music, physical education, technology and art. The students learn how to use the library to find specific topics, and learn how to use the cataloging system.

"Skills they'll hopefully use into college and for the rest of their lives," Maher said.

She also finds creative ways to get children reading, and to help them find books that will build them into lifelong readers. One such way is the library's "Lucky Charm" program, where books are put into blank bags with a few notes about their genres and the first sentence of the books written on them.

"We ask them to take a random book, and give it a chance for the first 20 pages. Hopefully, it's a way to open their eyes to different categories of books, and help them find something they wouldn't have found if they were just browsing the shelves," Maher said.

The library also finds ways to connect literature to other forms of art. There is a yearly contest among grade levels to design the best bookmark, or to use paper pumpkins to create designs based off their favorite book characters.

Maher said it’s all part of an ongoing interest in and love of literature students hopefully carry forward into the rest of the school careers and beyond.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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