BOOKS GALORE: Ballina Coast High School teacher librarian Andrew Playford wants the community to take advantage of the thousands of books that need a new home.
BOOKS GALORE: Ballina Coast High School teacher librarian Andrew Playford wants the community to take advantage of the thousands of books that need a new home. Marc Stapelberg

15,000 books to be given away as schools go digital

IT'S the sort of thing that will either delight or devastate book-lovers.

When construction on Ballina's new school is complete, there won't be enough space for the combined book collections of Ballina High School and Southern Cross K-12.

This means 15,000 books will be given away next week.

The titles are suitable for all reading levels and cover all manner of genre from educational guides, insects and ancient history to fictional tales.

Teacher librarian Andrew Playford said it was heartbreaking to have to let go of the books.

He said there would be ample digital resources, but a limited amount of space for hard-copy resources in the new Ballina Coast High School.

"Learning has changed," he said

"It's all going to be digital."

While Mr Playford, a true bibliophile, said he was "devastated" to let his beloved books go, he said he was "really excited about the future of teaching and learning".

Mr Playford said books for the new school's pared-back library would be purchased as needed.

He hoped the books would continue to be well-loved, and said despite classrooms becoming more digitised there was still nothing quite like the feeling of a hard-copy book.

"I hope they continue a love of learning, a love of reading and a love of life," he said.

"We are the only animal that retains the written word. It unites us. It's great to have digital and I embrace it but I still love to turn a page."

He said special collections gathered through community donations would be given to the Southern Cross School of Distance Education. Books will be given away 10am-2pm next Tuesday to Thursday at the high school's basketball court on Martin St, Ballina.

Those collecting books will have a chance to donate to the Ballina Coast High School drought appeal.



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