'Librarian fosters lifelong love of learning'

Amy Fischer has worked for the Fort Payne City School System for 27 years. The last 24 years she has been the Fort Payne High School Librarian. Her college degrees, including library science, made her eligible for the position, but her love of books is what makes her passionate about what she does.

Fischer’s enthusiasm for reading, for the sheer pleasure of it, helps her foster this love in her students. Not satisfied with just the normal librarian routine, Fischer started a book club for her students. She does take recommendations, but she selects the books to be read and then they discuss what they learned from the book and how they can relate to it.

She has shared with her students such books as; “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, “The Book of Lost Things” by John Connolly and local authors such as Thomas H. Cook who wrote “Breakheart Hill.” Fischer has many personal favorites, but topping the list is “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. The book club reads about five or six books annually.

During her long tenureship she has seen the libraries circulation records climb. “We recently had an all-time high of books checked out, we went over the previous record by 1,400 books,” said Fischer.

Her work also includes helping students with resumes for employment, preparing for tests and working on research papers. “My role as librarian has definitely evolved over the years,” said Fischer. “I take part in preparing students for ACT testing. I know a school library plays a huge role in producing higher test scores, there are studies that show this.”

Fischer tells her students that they should keep searching for the right book that speaks to them. She encourages them to give reading a chance, to try something new. Fischer said her students tell her that the school library is a haven for them, a place of peace in a hectic world.

Fischer is also passionate about cooking and traveling, but she lives by a quote from Ray Bradbury, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

Amy’s motto: “A cover is not the book, so open it up and take a look.”

–Mary Poppins

— Marla Ballard’s Who’s Who appears each Tuesday.

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