St Patrick's School - Napier

Merrill Baird


Hi! My name is Merrill and I have worked at St Patrick’s School for the past 20 years, and for the last 16 years as the full-time Librarian.

The Scholastic Book Fair is an Annual event at our school since 2003, and one that the children look forward to so much that they hound me from the beginning of the year about “When is it?” and “What’s this years theme?”.
While Scholastic always provides me with suggested Book Fair themes,
I often like to choose and create my own themes around what’s happening in New Zealand at the time.

I attribute most of the success of our
Book Fairs to choosing the right genre (theme), like Conservation week, Recycling, Olympic Games, Christmas, Seasons, etc. I also frequently consult the students re their suggestions, like
when we had our “Winter Wonderland”
and “Space” Book Fairs.

Once a theme has been decided on
it’s all go with over the top with the
decorations, and many competitions
on offer. It’s a time for all the children
who have an artistic flair to express themselves and fill our Library with
fabulous creations.

I advertise the Book Fair for a month to invite and encourage parents to embrace this occasion and become involved in their child’s competitions.


“Book Fairs are a great
fundraiser for the school
and a great way of
generating new books
for our Library from the
commission. It benefits

When the day comes and all the
containers arrive, it’s very exciting for the children and myself. The Library gets closed for normal use during this time and behind closed doors, I completely transform it, while the children wait in anticipation of the event. This only adds to the hype of the Book Fair.

We recently had a Christmas/Favourite
Fairy Tale Character Book Fair, and the whole school got involved.

It was a really fun day and the Clifford the Big Red Dog costume went down a treat.

Safari Book Fair


This year I intend to align with
Scholastic as the current theme is
Pirates. I think the “Bookaneer” Book
Theme will be fantastic—easy for
display and great for a dress-up day.
What kid doesn’t like Pirates?!!!

Scholastic’s aim is to always create
partnership with schools and I have
experienced that first hand with having a wonderful personal consultant called
Lani. She provides a great service and
is always prepared to work around me, and if supplies are a little short, she will send more books through promptly.
The books are always sent on time with
a happy, friendly smile and service from Chris (the courier).

I love working with kids and being
involved with their personal growth
in reading books, and working alongside the teachers, to help them discover
and learn new things.



Winter Wonderland Book Fair

Recycling Book Fair