A trainload of books
by Andy Bryenton
Iveta Radvanska is the driving force behind Mangawhai’s Book Train initiative; a project to provide reading material to the community, which has proven so successful that their historic home base is overflowing with volumes — the town’s generosity has all but exceeded available space.
Iveta, from Slovakia, counts English as a second language but is now helping bring the written word to Mangawhai locals. She works alongside ‘behind the scenes’ volunteer Libby Clews in the old historic library building next door to Mangawhai’s museum, part of the Pioneer Village. It’s the area’s previous library from 1928, repurposed.
“Thanks to all the people who donated all the books and volunteers from Mangawhai Helping Hands who helped to set it up in the building,” said the pair of avid readers.
“The original idea was to have a book stand, in the same style as the community food stand, but it is already bigger than that now! If other places show interest, we’ll gladly help out.”
Libby and Iveta intend the Book Train to be even less formal than a library.
“There’s no membership; you can just pop in during opening hours, no registration needed, take a book, no need to return it.”
The Book Train has been in operation since June 4 and is open from 10am–4pm daily thanks to its volunteer staff.