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Farewell to Long-Serving Librarian, Karen Monk

September 08, 2020 at 9:48 AM

It doesn’t require a logon or a password nor does it need to be acquainted with a mouse. It doesn’t need charging and you don’t pay extra for a protective cover.  You don’t have to wait for it to fire up, nor do you need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Nothing pops up to distract you. And it’s not the end of the world if you drop it in the bath! There’s a library full of them at the Girls’ School and the girls love them!

Over 29 years of dedicated service, it would be impossible to count the number of girls who Karen Monk has positively influenced to develop a love of books and reading - but it must be in the thousands! For this current generation of children who are living in a fast-paced world of change, where much is expected at the touch of a button, Saint Kentigern Girls’ School library, with shelves stocked with hardcovers and paperbacks, remains a popular, tactile, diversionary, imaginary, adventure seeking draw card!  A visit to the library during any lunch break leaves you in no doubt that regardless of age, there is much to be gained from sinking into a beanbag and relaxing into a good read. Discovering a love of reading sets children up for life.

Karen originally began her involvement with schools at Remuera Intermediate, where she helped students who were immigrants to New Zealand to build their English vocabulary. From there, Karen became the Librarian for the former Corran School in August 1991, which later merged to become Saint Kentigern Girl’s School - and the rest is history!  Every year since, Karen has added value to the Girls’ School and the girls’ learning, in a role she clearly loved!

Karen joined in on assemblies, chapels and school events, and facilitated events and happenings around the School, such as buddy reading four times a week, the Literacy Quiz, beautiful book displays and wall hangings, writers’ competitions, special events in the library, prizegivings and organising the formal school photographs. Additionally, Karen facilitated the Girls’ School Yearbook which the girls love and cherish.

As most school years draws to a close, most school libraries actively recall their books, where they are locked away, inaccessible until the start of a new school year. Mrs Monk recognised that there were huge gains to be made by keeping the reading momentum going over the long summer holidays and set a plan in place to encourage the girls to select a range of library books to continue their reading throughout the break. In the build-up, she created displays that not only suggested good story books but that might also spark a new interest such as handicrafts, jewellery making, a new sport, science experiments or cooking.

Mrs Monk recognised that literacy is for life and to develop a love of reading at an early age can open up a lifetime of reading pleasure. Saint Kentigern wishes Mrs Monk well as she embarks on her retirement and thanks her for her helpfulness, warmth and endless energy as she cared for our girls.

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