Library bus popular
They’re readers at Kaitoke School. They have their own library, but every Friday morning they get a visit from the Mobile Branch Library, or library bus.
Wigs Arathoon is the driver / librarian and has been for nine years.
“This was my first-ever stop so it’s dear to my heart,” she says. “I really like it out here.”
The library bus operates on a two-week timetable with up to eight stops a day.
“The furthest I go is to Maxwell,” says Wigs. “The [Mobile Branch Library] introduces children to a library in the community, along with the concept of sharing and returning books.” An avid lover of books, Wigs sees this service as a way to make books “the norm” for children.
Vanessa Duncan is Kaitoke School principal. She began in Term 3, having previously been deputy principal at Whanganui Intermediate.
“It’s a great little rural setting school, 5km from town, and we have a bus that comes out every day with our kids on it.”
That bus makes way for the Mobile Branch Library every Friday.
“The kids absolutely love it, being able to go on and choose books, and, of course, people from the community come and use it as well. It’s a great asset. We do have a library but the library bus becomes an extension of that,” she says. “We are an amazing rural school and we offer so much.”
The students spent time at camp in Taupo¯ last month.
“For three days they had an absolute blast,” says Vanessa. “Our juniors have just had a big day out and went to Palmerston North to Te Manawa and Cloud Nine, then came back to school for a sausage sizzle. Our seniors are practising for their dinner and dance at which they get all dressed up in formal attire for a proper sit-down dinner. We’re a full primary school so we go up to Year 8.
“It’s really nice because we get the big kids with the little kids in the playground, showing them how to throw a ball. ”
When Vanessa was training as a teacher she was placed at Kaitoke School.
“I loved it and when the job came up I thought, why not? Give it a go! I got the job and I love it.” The school is five minutes from town but still has a real rural feel, she says.
On the Mobile Branch Library are 97 Kaitoke School pupils with principal Vanessa Duncan (at right in bus doorway) and driver / librarian Wigs Arathoon. Picture / Paul Brooks