Li­brary bus pop­u­lar

Whanganui Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL BROOKS

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

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