Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fire at Paraparaumu School Kapiti Coast

Opened 1889

On August 10th arsonists caused four classrooms and the library to be gutted in a fire at the oldest school on the Kapiti Coast - Paraparaumu School in Ruapehu St. All of the archival photos for the 125th year celebrations were lost in the fire and all the library books that were not out on issue.  

Donated books awaiting sorting etc.
Since then a positive avalanche of books, both brand new and used, has flooded in from all over the country – many from Public Libraries, schools and colleges and from individuals. To get the books into some sort of order so enough were available for the children when they arrived back from holiday last Monday took a great deal of organising and the librarian Kenzie Benbrook had (and still has) an enormous task. And yes, all records of the collection have vanished as the computer melted away in the flames.  Kenzie has worked tirelessly from August 11th including the school holidays, organising an ongoing team of volunteers who sorted and covered and manhandled books over to the temporary accommodation. National Library of New Zealand has been involved with help and advice
 Although a brand new library and classrooms will be built, the books are now being housed in not too bad a space! It is light and bright, large and sunny and just look at the (temporary) furniture. I have been lucky enough to be involved in a very minor way for a very short time each week but will bring you some more pictures as soon as my computer is ‘fixed’ - including one of the lynchpin, Kenzie. 
Some of the bright seating in the temporary library

Although it appeared to be wiped out, the very heart of the school, THE SCHOOL LIBRARY has kept on beating.

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