Helping Readers in Need

Can you help our friends in Melbourne, Australia? I hope so!

Imagine opening a brand new library and then a couple of months later watch it be destroyed in a storm. That’s what happened on Christmas Day in Melbourne.

While we were enjoying our Christmas Day here in the Seattle area, one of our blogging buddies was dealing with a library disaster. On Christmas Day in Melbourne Australia, a terrible storm thundered through the city. Flash floods, hailstones the size of tennis balls, tornadoes and pelting thunderstorms pummeled the city.


St. Martin of Tours Primary School in the northeast section of Melbourne was hit especially hard. About 4 inches of rain (96 mm) came down in a hour and overwhelmed the gutter system on the ceiling of the brand-new library media center. The water backed up and the weight collapsed the ceiling over the picture book section and office area of the library.

Forty brand new books waiting to be catalogued and placed into the library were destroyed. The S-Z picture book section was a sopping mess. You can read more about the damage and see a movie of the clean up on Miss Yeomans’ LRC blog.

So how can you help? Our friends may be many miles away from us physically, but they are readers just like us. They love books and when they come back to school they are going to need books to read. I thought it might be a great idea if our blogging friends sent them a favorite picture book.

I am going to buy a book this week and put it in the mail. Perhaps you could do the same and by the time school opens, the students at St. Martin our Tours Primary School will have new books to read. Please share this with your friends and fellow bloggers! A librarian friend is in need and we can help!

Please send your book to:

Miss Yeomans, Teacher/Librarian

St Martin of Tours

2-12 Silk Street, Rosanna VICTORIA 3084,


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18 thoughts on “Helping Readers in Need

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree and Bulldog Readers

    Thank you so much for thinking of us!

    As we’re on holidays now, many of our children won’t know about the damage done to our beautiful new library (LRC). They will be very sad to see what has happened when school resumes for them on February 3rd, BUT it can be fixed and it will be a wonderful space again!

    It was very sad yesterday to go through the S-Z picture books to check for water damage and see so many “favourites” that were soaked and will need to be replaced. We are so lucky that it was only a section of picture books damaged…it could have been a lot worse!

    We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and knowing that we have reading friends on the other side of the world who care about us and our LRC…

    Miss Yeomans 🙂

    • Dear Miss Yeomans,
      I can’t imagine not helping out a fellow librarian! Seeing the damage water can do to a collection must be overwhelming. I know other libraries are suffering too. I will send a book or two from our favorite authors from the S-Z section.
      I hope your colorful chair and cute bear will be restored to its former beauty! I look forward to a little book shopping tomorrow!
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree
    What a caring person you are! My daughter Kim was devastated when she discovered all the damage to her beautiful new library. However the response from the school staff and community in assisting with the clean up and responses such as yours have given her great determination to make the SMOT LRC an even more beautiful, welcoming space for the school community to enjoy, read and discover in. Thank you.
    Colleen Yeomans

    • Dear Mrs. Yeomans,
      How kind of you to comment on our blog! In so many ways our world is huge, yet in so many ways it’s a small caring place. I just hope that people will extend their generosity to your daughter and books for her students.
      Someday, I will make a trip to Melbourne and see what a beautiful library the SMOT LRC really is!
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    What an absolutely lovely idea! I was devastated when I heard about Miss Yeoman’s library damage so I thank you for coming up with a way we can help her!

    I look forward to sending a book or two!

    Best wishes,
    Mrs M☀rris

    • Dear Mrs. Morris,
      I am so glad you think spreading the word and getting some new books to Miss Yeomans’ library will be helpful to her. Insurance never covers the actual cost of damages and it always takes lots of time. Hopefully there will be a number of librarians who will want to send a book or two!
      Personally, I can’t wait to go shopping!
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Have just started to jump back on board with the computer after my little break.

    You are so wonderful putting up this post as BB and I will make a effort to send some books to Miss Yeomam. We were so very lucky as the storm which hit Melbourne somehow by passed Geelong.

    Thank you for been so kind and making us aware of someone in need now this is the power of blogging and connecting no matter where you live in the world. 🙂

    From your pal down under,

    • Dear AA,
      I am so pleased the storm bypassed Geelong. Horrible storms are not fun, especially on holidays! We had a bad wind storm a few years ago that took down hundreds of huge evergreen trees in our area AND all of the electrical wires. We didn’t have power for 8 days leading up to Christmas. Luckily it was restored just before Christmas. It was mighty cold and I was told I got a bit grumpy by day 8! 🙂
      I am going shopping today to find a couple favorite books to send to Miss Yeomans and then will put in the mail. Miss Yeomans has been a good librarian friend to me and it’s natural to want to help her now when she really needs it.
      Happy New Year!
      Mrs. Hembree

  5. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    Was there a big problem in Australia? I am sorry that I can’t see the new blog post over the weekends.You were so close to win but 2ND place is the best you know. I fell so sad in Australia that one library was destroyed by the tornado.
    Merry late Christmas.
    From Alex

    • Hello Alex,
      I hope you had a great Christmas. Are you enjoying your vacation? Yes, there was a terrible storm in Melbourne, Australia on Christmas Day. one of our blogging friends had her library damaged by the rain and water when the ceiling collapsed. She lost many of her picture books. It is so sad and their library was brand new and had just opened in the fall.
      Today I went to the book store and bought them 2 new books. I will send them tomorrow.
      Keep reading!

  6. Dear Mrs Hembree

    Kim has been an online librarian pal of mine in fact many of her students ended up at my old school.
    This blog is beautiful. Thank you for what you are doing.

    regards Michael Jongen @larrydlibrarian

    • Dear Mr. Jongen,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! Kim and I have been blogging buddies for almost a year now. I’ve been following her as the new library was built and then they moved in. I am also going through a rebuild and we have much in common. When I heard about the storm, I could only imagine the anguish she felt.
      We are a small world of librarians and I hope others will join in and help. I had fun at the book store selecting a couple books to send from America. They are favorite titles of our 1st and 2nd grade readers!

      Thanks again for visiting our blog!
      Mrs. Hembree

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  8. Dear Mrs Hembree
    I’ve been speaking to Miss Yeomans and heard about the snow storms in Seattle. I hope no one has been hurt.
    Thank you for your thoughtful gesture of donating a book to our school library.
    As principal of St Martin’s I witnessed the endless hours that Kim spent planning and managing the move and the set up of the new LRC. It was so sad walking into the LRC on Boxing Day morning and seeing the storm damage. An even harder task was sharing the news with Kim.
    In the usual St Martin’s way staff and parishioners rallied to help with the clean up. The building is being repaired however it will take a long time to restore the collection.
    Having global support is most comforting and humbling.
    in keeping with our school motto “Non Recuso Laborem” we will continue to strive to embrace life’s challenges.
    Congratulations on your Blog and on sharing your passion for reading . Library are the spine to any school and we are blessed to have an expert TL at St Martin’s School.
    thanks again for your thoughtfulness and moral support to Kim.
    Trish Stewart

    • Dear Ms. Stewart,
      What a thrill to have a comment from the principal of Miss Yeomans’ school! She is very fortunate to have a leader who supports global technology. It’s also amazing to me that our snow storms made it onto the news in Australia. It is really a small world. Luckily my house and our school did not suffer any damage. We were without power or heat for four days, but that is over now and a chilly memory!
      Miss Y probably shared how we have some things in common with our libraries. I am in a temporary building while our school is being built. I watched Miss Y move into her new building and felt the agony of the storm damage. Rallying support in her time of need is what friends do! I hope her students enjoy the books I have sent and will think of us in Seattle whenever they read them. Perhaps I will someday be able to travel there and meet you both in person.
      All the best to you as you prepare for beginning your new school year!
      Julie Hembree

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