Westwood’s Jr/Sr High School English department, in collaboration with media specialist Mr. Peter Richter, has begun a pilot Independent Reading program. In this Independent Reading program students read silently for 10 minutes at the beginning of every English period; with no assignment attached to the reading, the idea is to promote life-long reading as a fun activity, while enabling students to practice their skills by simply reading regularly. Students can read what they choose, so it is important that they learn how to choose books based on a keyword that reflects their favorite types of stories. Mr. Richter demonstrated how to use the online search catalog, Destiny, to find books that interest students by theme, subject, genre, or author, and from any device that has internet access. Students took out their first books on the spot as they will be reading them daily over the course of the year. Students like the program so far as they realize they can truly read for fun. Mr. Richter visits the 8th grade classes once a week to give “2 minute book talks” highlighting various titles from the media center collection to expose the students to books they might not have been searching for on their own. These are great ways to increase circulation of library materials and will hopefully encourage the students to expand their areas of interest.