Booked for a Lifetime

Librarian is Selected to be Part Reading Program


photo by Ruchi Sankolli

CPHS Librarian, Debby Barnes poses with a copy of “Radical Element.” Barnes got selected to be a member of the TAYSHAS Reading Program. “I think its great and I think it is an honor to get selected,” Barnes said. “I’m kind of feeling overwhelmed that I have too read over a hundred books in a year, but I am proud of being selected.”

Ruchi Sankolli, Reporter

CPHS Librarian Debby Barnes has been selected to be a reader for the TAYSHAS reading program. This is one of the reading programs created for high schools and is equivalent to the Bluebonnet reading program for elementary schools and the Lone Star reading program for middle schools. 

“I think it’s great and I think it is an honor to get selected,” Barnes said. “I’m kind of feeling overwhelmed that I have to read over a hundred books in a year, but I am proud of being selected.”

Barnes says this is the first time she has gotten selected. She applied in early September and got selected in the first week of November. 

In order to apply, the participant must be a part of the Texas Library Association (TLA), they must work in a high school, be a member of the Young Adult Round Table (YART) and also fill out a required questionnaire. 

Every year, for three years, the program sends 150 books to the selectee, whose duty is to read the books.

“They send books of all genres,” Barnes said. “The list will usually include some nonfiction books and some graphic novels. The majority of the list is fiction, but it would encompass all genres within fiction.” 

After reading all these books, the selectees will have a series of meetings they must attend. Part of the duties of a member of the program is to prepare a reading list for the program based on the books that have been sent to them. 

“We’ll either have virtual meetings where we are either emailing each other or some sort of online meeting,” Barnes said. “We will then have three meetings in person, which I must attend to keep participating in the program. That’s when we will be looking at the list and start developing it so we have it finalized by the deadline, and then have that ready to be published.”  

Barnes said this list is just a reference for young adults who are looking for something to read. 

“It is a list of 30 to 40 books that are put together to showcase what the committee feels are really good young adult novels,” Barnes said. “When you are thinking of something to read, you can go to this list and know that this list has been vetted by librarians that all work with high school students, so we know what high school students like and what they would want to read, and we thought these would be good books that high school students can get something out of.”

Sophomore Barbara Sylvester, who has been a member of the CPHS Book Club since her freshman year, expresses her thoughts on Barnes’ selection.

“I feel very happy for her, and I think this is a great opportunity for her and the school,” Sylvester said. “It is really great for her as well, because she will get to engross herself with so many books and decide which ones are good for students.”

Barnes said she is proud of being a member of the TAYSHAS Program and wishes to continue participating in volunteer programs in the future. 

“After my three-year commitment to TAYSHAS is over, I would like to look at other ways to volunteer with TLA and help promote reading and librarianship across the state,” Barnes said. “It was an honor to get selected.”