Students, teachers and teachers of Sekolah Menengah St Michael, Penampang, Sabah celebrate their seventh entry in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) today, this time for ‘The Most Number of Old Books Collected’. Pix by Edmund Samunting

PENAMPANG: Sekolah Menengah St Michael here made another entry in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) today, this time for ‘The Most Number of Old Books Collected’.

The school collected 42,617 books for the title, surpassing the initial target of 36,000 books, and at the same time beating the old record of Persatuan Srikandi Bestari Negeri Johor at 30,000 set in 2012.

The feat is all the more amazing considering that the school’s premises were flooded in late September and some of the books were damaged and had to be sent for recycling.

This is the seventh MBR record set by SM St Michael, which first entered the MBR for ‘Biggest Collection of Flower Pots Made of Coconut Shells’ in 2008, and last year, they achieved the record for the largest mass production of bookmarks from recycled materials.

During the announcement ceremony by an MBR representative at the school here, Principal Jennifer Asing said about a thousand students and teachers as well as parents lent a hand in collecting the used books.

The programme was initially started to fill up the school’s library shelves, and to create a reading habit amongst school-goers.

Jennifer said despite the flood, they kept on pushing to achieve their target and not have their spirit broken.

“We started the collection from June 10 and we had about 23,000 books collected when a flash flood hit the school on Sept 29.

“I was at Kuala Lumpur at the time and despite best efforts to rescue the books by teachers and students, about 30 per cent were damaged, as they were on the school hall’s floor and the water level was nearly two feet high.

“We were supposed to make the tally on Oct 10 for the MBR record, but we asked for an extension until today,” she said.

Jennifer added that part of the collection of fiction and non-fiction books will be distributed to primary schools in the district.

Also present at the ceremony was SM St Michael Parent Teacher Association (PTA) head Datuk Phillip Lasimbang and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) secretary-general Datuk Donald Mojuntin.

MBR was represented by its research analyst Muhammad Shukri.

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