Farewell “my” Library!

I started my librarian position at Mount Aspiring College 15 years ago, as an accented timid French woman. I am leaving as a Kiwi, quite resilient, confident, articulate and happy like most students when they leave this school. Yet still with my accent!

Thank yous

Thank you to Maurie Jackways who took the leap of faith to employ me with my librarian qualification but not much knowledge of New Zealand and English literature.

Thank you to John Turnbull who was the Teacher with Library Responsibility and who was an immense help in the beginning.

Thank you to Jane Hamilton who supported me well and loved libraries. She once said “The library is the heart of our college and the librarian is the key for it to beat strongly“. Her quote was on my office wall for years.

Thank you to Wayne Bosley, and Dawn, who always valued libraries and books and granted a comfortable budget over the years.

Thank you to my Team, Doreen initially, then Kenna and Ruth, invaluably efficient workers and friends, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you to the Office Angels, always there for everything, always with a kind word and a smile despite your incredible workload.

Thank you to all the staff and teachers, supportive, patient, with great listening, correcting and repeating capabilities, I’ve learnt so much with you all. It was always nice to see you popping in the library for a book, a word or a sniff of essential oil.

Thank you to the National Librarians, Maxine and Bridget;
Thank you to Rob and Desirée, Athenaeum (the library software) support team;
Thank you to Jenny, the Wanaka library school liaison person;
Thank you to Wheelers for their prompt and cost effective service.
And a special thanks to Nick, MAC IT technician extraordinaire for fixing problems faster than his own shadow 🙂

I’ve loved my job

I was always passionate about connecting people to knowledge, I have always loved books and reading and understood the power of information and literacy so it was a pleasure to share, develop services and activities to promote them.

I deeply enjoyed seeing all the Wanaka youth grow from little shy Year 7s to fully grown confident polite young people. What a privilege! Always a joy to meet you again in town.

A few peaks
  • Finding the perfect book for a student gave me a thrill each time. Especially with the competition from screens, every kid reading a book was a delight.
  • Team Green has been a highlight of my weeks. Facilitating Team Green students’ many initiatives was always a pleasure. MAC has just agreed to become an EnviroSchool this very week. It is an awesome outcome.
  • Finally, my job has served me well. It allowed me to support my family and witness my children growing in their school with their mates. It also fostered my personal growth journey and this is a tribute to what MAC is: a safe, nurturing learning environment that encourages everyone to become the best person they can be.

Thank you all for contributing and being a part of this.

The big move

Before leaving, I had 6 weeks to pack up the library, what a coincidence! Knowing the collection, the curriculum and students’ needs perfectly, I was able to cull and sort books with minimal disruption to the college’s future needs. Hopefully!! The shelving in the temporary library being half that of the existing arrangement, I first culled all the books that had not been read since 2015 (about 20% of the collection). Then I put another 30% of books in boxes, safely stored until the small temporary library moves into its final new library. A few photos of the process…

I wish to share two pieces of advice:

  • Blog! Blogs hold stories over the years, whereas most other formats fade, forget or become obsolete. Blogs keep the memory of past initiatives and lovely old moments.
  • Love! Do everything you do with love. If you do not love it, change it. As for me, I still love the library yet I am changing because I love gardens even more!

Finally, welcome to the new librarian! I’ve admired her capacity to absorb a lot of information in a short time and I trust she’ll add great value to the college library with her experience, training and character. Be kind to her!

Looking forward to meeting you around town or in one of my garden tours. Ka kite ano!

Florence