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Marit Vick, Librarian, North Pole High School
By Claire Mayo

"It is just like getting paid to solve puzzles!" says Marit Vick, whose favorite part of being a librarian is the problem solving. "It doesn't hurt that the students think I am some kind of a whiz because I can locate material on their topics, and I won't burst their bubbles!" Marit is the librarian for North Pole High School, and her love for books and high schoolers is evident in all the ways she creates a unique space for a library.

Marit grew up in rural Wisconsin without television, and so she and her brothers thought reading was great entertainment. Since the closest library was 20 miles away, Marit's mother took the family once a month to stock up on books. Marit, like her mother, is an avid reader. Alaska has been Marit's home since 1968.

Marit Vick
Marit has been serving libraries since the early 1980s. She started out as a Teacher's Aid at a small school. One of her jobs was to supervise class visits to the library since there was no school librarian. And before her position at North Pole High School she served at a larger elementary school. Marit says she has enjoyed working with teenagers and loves the variety of work in a high school library. "I think I have the best job in the world!" says Marit.

One program Marit sponsors at North Pole High is Battle of the Books. This program is designed to encourage high school students to compete against other area schools in book reading. She struggled, though, to make the opportunity more enticing for high schoolers so she created another reading group. This group, Patriot Readers, named after the school mascot, meets monthly to discuss books chosen by both Marit and the students. "One month we read a book and had a supper meeting while watching the movie and compared the two formats," Marit says. She hopes the program will grow because she feels reading is so important for high schoolers.

"As so many teenagers are no longer automatically attracted to libraries, one of my primary goals is to make my library inviting and friendly," says Marit. She sells suckers all year long, which brings students into the library. The idea is that while students buy suckers they'll notice a new book or poster or magazine and they'll be drawn to reading. She thinks the ideal school library should be colorful and inviting. Most importantly, though, Marit says a school library should have, "adequate and up-to-date computers for student use, as well as a scanner and color printer to enhance student projects."

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