I say "library space" rather than "new library", because Wellington East Girls' College (WEGC) has had its share of difficulties lately since the main block was found to be substantially below current safety standards for earthquake risk. The library was of course in the main block which is now closed. It's a beautiful old building so we all hope it can be saved. At night when it's lit up, it sails like a ship over the heights of Mt Victoria.
Both staff and students have had to be adaptable and resilient in dealing with a situation that has put stress on everyone. And the girls and teachers must be getting very fit when they often have to walk from the classrooms in the lower village all the way up to the new prefabs on the top field.
The library has had a whole year of homeless-ness, with the librarians using creative and innovative ways of bringing the mobile 'Library-2-U' but they now have an actual room, so the re-opening (to coincide with Readers' and Writers' Week) featured a week of events including a ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony, speeches and a book quiz. The girls were great to talk to and I really enjoyed my session.
One of the things I talked about (and read) was the story I submitted for the BNZ Young Writers' Award when I was in fifth form (now Year 11) at New Plymouth Girls' High School. It was Highly Commended and I told the girls that reading the judge's report, by Noel Hilliard, was the first time I had ever had any kind of contact with a real live writer.
The story is called Creation and you can find it on my website. I hadn't read it out loud before, because usually I talk to younger children at Writers in Schools visits to primary and intermediate schools. I thought afterwards that I should have warned them that they might be a bit confused for the first page or two (handwritten of course, no computers) but that hopefully all would become clear, and I think it did.
I hope they're enjoying their new library space. And cheers to all school librarians who do such a great job (not always under such difficult circumstances.)