BACK: Sophia Lampe, Jack Hartnett, Elsie Jackson, Isabela Campbell, Mia Croker, Luke Lowick. Front, Callum Wales, Kristine Knight, Henry Gay, Ruby Shields and Ezrah Watene
“It’s proved to be the dream job,” said Mrs Knight.
“When the job came up – I loved the idea.
“Just to be in a room full of books that I could read and share.”
St Francis Xavier’s principal, Michael Ball paid tribute to Mrs Knight’s dedication and professionalism during a special mass, held at the school.
“Kristine and her husband Wayne were always present for any school event or to support the town in any way,” said Mr Ball.
“She was always someone I could trust for advice or counsel when needed,” he said.
Mrs Knight started her teaching career at Wee Waa High School in 1978 and has witnessed a lot of change.
“After I had my first child, Mitchell in 1982, I decided to resign” she said. “Back in those days you couldn’t job- share so you had to make a choice – either you were a full-time teacher or you weren’t.”
In 1984, Mrs Knight started working again at Narrabri High School where she ran the gifted and talented program.
As a keen student of English and history, Mrs Knight was absolutely thrilled when she was offered the opportunity to be a librarian at St Francis Xavier’s, in 1994 and has been the inspiration behind many young, book worms.
“It only takes one book for a child to turn from being a non-reader into a reader,” she said.
“The thing is matching a book with a child or matching a child with a book. I’ll say ‘look you should try this one’ and they come back ‘Oh Mrs Knight that was the best book I’ve ever read, have you got something else?’ It just takes that one book for a child to get hooked,” she added.
Mrs Knight said the digital revolution has changed many aspects of library life but it’s a place that’s still considered a sanctuary for many children.
“You can come in and get books and be engaged. Whereas, if you’re a bit of a loner you stand out in the playground because you’re just wandering around but here is a bit of a safety net. You can come in and be part of the fabric of the library.
“Children like coming here in summer and they like coming here in winter because we’ve got the best air- conditioning in the school,” said Mrs Knight.
Mrs Knight’s last day of school will be Wednesday this week, a surreal moment for the highly admired librarian.
“At the moment I’m good. I don’t know how I’ll be when I walk down the steps for the last time. We’ll see.
Mrs Knight and her husband plan on moving to Sydney to spend more time with their grandchildren. “Our loss is their family’s gain and no words can thank her enough for all she has done,” said Mr Ball.