Story Store

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Story Store Te Manu Māutauranga is open!

The brainchild of Joanna Baynes, the idea of Story Store Te Manu Māutauranga came about through 35 years of experience as a School Librarian in a high decile school. During this time, the already well-resourced school received an abundance of donations of books in excellent condition, so Joanna started donating these books to schools where libraries needed them most.

Story Store aims to collect excellent condition, second-hand children's books and make them available, free of charge, to school libraries that are under-resourced, thereby improving access by all children to books that they want to read.

In early 2023, Story Store and EPIT partnered to further this aim, and Story Store moved into the The Nest, EPIT’s collaborative co-working space on Level 1, in Raphoe House, Onehunga.

The concept of Story Store is that the books will be in a ‘store’ and schools can select books in-person or online, based on their school’s requirements. Story Store is committed to ensuring the schools using the service feel that they are treated with dignity by making it similar to a bookshop experience.  “It’s important for me that the librarians can select the books they need for their students, not that they have to take what they're given and be grateful”, Joanna explained.

A key driver of Joanna’s decision to start this initiative is her personal passion for reading, and her desire to embed a love of reading in our children. It’s well proven that reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health, and learning outcomes. It gives people access to culture and heritage and supports them to thrive.

First visit from a school

On Monday 01 May, three students and a staff member, responsible for the library, visited from St Mary's Catholic School in Avondale. There was excitement and amazement at the range of books that were available. The eager young visitors returned to their school with free books worth approximately $1065.

Does your school need books?

Schools that have inadequate budget for their libraries and a passionate library advocate on their team, are invited to apply. Story Store is a start-up organisation that is driven by the contributions of volunteers. The team endeavour to support as many schools as they can, and this will grow over time.

Are you able to donate books?

Joanna is asking schools help grow the collection by running 'book drives' for donations of excellent condition books that students have read and no longer wish to keep; or donate new books to support Store Store. Story Store will need a continual stream of books for this to be a sustainable venture.

Find out more by visiting Story Store'swebsite.

Nischal Chakravarthy
03 May 2023
min read

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