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!


Librarian Vacancy at Mount Aspiring College Wanaka

Tena Koutou,

If you dream of change and if you dream of joining the lovely active community of Wanaka, then apply for my job in the mighty Mount Aspiring College

I leave a golden place here with:

  • a new library on the way, the temporary library will be set up by the start of the year
  • a refreshed collection, as massive weeding is taking place before the move
  • a highly praised and used library service
  • a new Principal and all the exciting changes she will bring to our school
  • all in a great school, with wonderful students and a collegial team

Click here for the job description.

It is a 30 hours position and you will have 18 hours of trained staff to assist you.
The library system is Athenaeum. Feel free to contact me for any further information micoudf@mtaspiring.school.nz

And I move on to my other passion, with the creation of a Gardens Tour business https://beautifulgardenswanaka.com/

Looking forward to meeting you either in the library or in a garden tour!

 Ka kite,

Florence Micoud

From: I Opened a book, by Julia Donaldson, Scottish Poetry Library

Read to win!

Erik’s Fish and Chips has announced the first set of Central Lakes prize winners for Erik’s Reading Challenge!

Congratulations to…

Amber from Wanaka Primary School who has won:
2 nights accommodation for your family at Bella Vista Motel in Dunedin
$100 Best Cafe voucher
Visit to the Dinosaur Revolution Secrets of Survival Exhibition
Visit to the Ocho Chocolate Factory

Ruby from KingsView School has won our monthly draw:
$30 Erik’s Fish and Chips voucher
I-Fly voucher
$25 Spice Room Voucher

Last but not least, our monthly teachers prize goes to Ruby’s teacher, Katie:
A Harmany Spa voucher
$25 Spice Room voucher
$30 Erik’s Fish and Chips voucher

There is another draw at the end of September and October, so keep reading!
Every 5 chapter books read is one entry and get a free kids meal at Erik’s Fish and Chips.

Thanks to the team at Erik’s!
www.eriksfishandchips.co.nz ‌  ‌

Level 2 continued

Covid19Please remember to sanitize when entering the library.

Practice social distancing (use the cross on the floor).

We now quarantine returned books for 5 days.

Print AND Digital

Love booksPrint

I love books. Of course, I am librarian! I think each book is a treasure, a gift.

I enjoy the tactile experience, the paper softness, its smell.

I can lend a book, give it forward, I remember who gifted me which book, I may hug it even!

Their materiality give them context, a significance, therefore a stronger memory.

Most importantly, I love reading books. I enjoy diving into the pages in precious dedicated times. Losing myself in a book, forgetting time, living someone else life, being rocked by the rhythm of the words…

I also read print (alias a knowledge book) to learn a subject in depth, exploring all its aspects and nuances, often re-reading a difficult or important part to take it in. Oh! And they don’t have advertising!

Reading onlineDigital

I am an avid online reader too. But I can’t say I love it.

Online is where I get a lot of information, everything I want to know and more.

I explore the world and worldviews, I get news and weather of course. I keep contact with my friends, my community, and read many things I do not need.

Snippets, snapshots. Quick. Easy.

I read articles too, I skim-read the page to see if it’s what I want to read, then click away or continue skim reading. I tend to skip the end when articles are too long. Or my phone beeps and off I am.

Online reading has great advantages: ability to read in the dark, my phone of lighter than most books, it’s easy to find the information I want, it’s perfect when travelling and even saving paper!

As librarian, I witness first-hand how books in print are less and less used.  Is it a problem?

Reading Brain

Maryanne Wolf is a reading specialist. In her latest book, “The Reading Brain in a Digital World” she questions the future of the reading brain and our capacity for critical thinking, empathy, and reflection as we switch to online technologies.

Studies have shown that 85% of students multitask (=get distracted) in an online environment but only 26% when reading print.

Analyses of movements of the eyes when reading show that we scan through a screen (in the shape of an F) whereas eyes follow lines in a book. Trained to search and find words fast on webpages, we unconsciously practice speed-reading on a screen. So we read e-books faster! We look for the meaning, the plot, but miss the implicit, the depth and the literary expression.

Learning impact

So what about thinking, analyzing, evaluating? What does it mean for learning?

A study by Geoff Kaufman and Mary Flanagan says that for abstract (inference-based) questions, the print participants scored higher, on average, with 66 percent correct compared to the digital participants with just 48 percent correct. For concrete questions, digital participants out-scored the print participants: 73 percent correct versus 58 percent.

This study shows screens do not make us dumber as some people fear or blame.  But it does show that brains do not work the same way with print or screen.


I invite you to reflect on your reading habits, be aware of the differences print or digital offer and choose your reading medium accordingly.

It turns out that it’s no longer a Print VS Online debate, it is a Print AND Online world. We have to be bi-literate.

How do YOU read?

How to find reliable information

As research projects begin and news affect everyone, here are a few information literacy skills resources, to help identify the truth.

How to conduct a research project? Follow the Define, Locate, Select, Organise, Present, Assess steps in this Prezi!

How to use the internet efficiently for research -senior: Youtube video 3.19 mn

To help with research, here is the direct access to selected databases for New Zealand schools -no login required. Scroll down on the page to this search box:


Spot Fake News

Here is an interesting article about identifying Fake information:  Visual clues, resist emotional response, look for the motives. 1000 words – 5mn read

Lots of new books

More than 130 books have been added to the collection this year and it will keep growing, of course.

Check them out on the New Books revolving shelf in the library or on the Book Lists page. If the book you want to read is already borrowed, ask the librarian to reserve it for you.


20-02-17 New Books




ToitoiWell done to Anataia White from Mount Aspiring College for her beautiful drawing published on page 48 of the TOITOI Magazine.

Quite special to have a work actually published!

You can send your writing and art for Issue 20 by April 9, 2020.

More information here https://www.toitoi.nz/submit/