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AYER — The Page Hilltop School library has a wide variety of books that have educated and been loved by the children who walk the halls of the school. But over the course of time, those books get older and show wear.

Not to fear. Peggy Twiss, the school’s librarian, has found ways to replenish and revitalize the selections available to the students.

“Libraries are very symbolic and practical for schools,” said Principal Robert Ackerman. “With literacy being the foundation for academic achievement, it’s important that students learn to read well and also enjoy reading. Having a library full of quality books gets kids excited to read.”

One section of the library that needs updating is the biography section.

“The teachers in grades two through five use biographies in their curriculums, and I found that over a third of the books in that section were published in the 1960s,” she said.

Twiss successfully wrote a grant to the Ayer Education Foundation and obtained funds to start updating that section.

There are other gaps in particular interest areas as well, she said. For example, she said there is a need for books in the Magic Treehouse and Junie B. Jones series.

“So many children love those books,” she said. “They fly off the shelves. We just don’t have enough to go around.”

Other needs she identified are selections from the Amelia Bedelia, Cam Jansen and Curious George sets; books about animals, planets and sports; and information reference books such as Almanacs and the Guinness Book of World Records.

“So many children are fascinated by the Guinness Book,” said Twiss. “There are always students looking for it.”

A second way Twiss and a group of interested parents are replenishing the library shelves is through the Birthday Book Gifting program. Through this program, members of the school community are able to donate money to buy a book in their children’s names.

To participate, fill out an order form at by clicking on Page Hilltop, integrated arts, then the library.

For $15, Twiss will purchase a hard-cover, library-bound, bar-coded book of your choice from the list provided on the Web site. That book will be dedicated through a name plate on the inside book cover “in honor of your child’s birthday.” It will then be placed directly on the library’s shelves for all to enjoy.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity to commemorate your child’s milestone and promote literacy within our school,” said Twiss.

“A birthday book program gives parents a chance to pause and think about ways to honor a child’s birthday in a way that also benefits other students,” said Ackerman.

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