THE KIDS of St. Emile’s School in St. Vital have found a new hangout – the library. The school, a small private Catholic school now nearly 40 years old, has just reopened its library after completely restocking and renovating it.
“The kids love it,” says library technician Judith Enns.
Enns says the school had little choice in updating their library. Aside from many of the books being out-of-date, there were also many that were in very poor condition.
The process of rebuilding the library started about a year ago. At that time a library committee was struck and a library consultant was hired to assess the library and make suggestions.
“One of those suggestions was that the school should hire a library technician,” says Enns, explaining how she got her job.
The library technician started her new position in January, with her first role being to “weed out” the existing library book stock.
“I would say we got rid of around 75 per cent of the books that were here,” she says.
Once that was complete, a book wish list was devised which included suggestions from school administrators, teachers and students.
“We sent a note out to teachers (and others) and asked what they would like to see in the library,” Enns says.
Aside from a wide variety of fiction and educational books, the library also had to purchase new encyclopedias.
“We have spent $5,000 on new books so far,” says Enns, indicating that the book-buying spree was only the first of more to come. “We have to keep spending money and buying books.”
But books aren’t the only things that are new in the library. First and foremost in interesting new items for a lot of kids in the pre-kindergarten to grade 8 school are the new computers.
Enns says the library “is also the technology room. And now we have new computers for kids to work on.”
In fact, the library technician says while giving tours of the library to students recently, the first thing many of them wanted to know was where the new computers were.
Aesthetically, the library also invested in new items such as carpeting and bookshelves, and also received a paint job.
“The kids are amazed when they come in here. Many of them comment on the difference from a year ago,” says Enns.
The money used to renovate the library was raised by the school’s parent association, which held fund-raising events such as raffles and bike-a-thons. According to Enns, $10,000 was raised by the parents for the new-look library.
Enns says working at St. Emile’s has been a dream job. The opportunity to enter a library and help rebuild it from the ground up is an exciting occasion in the library world.
“I look forward to coming to work every day,” she says.
Enns adds one of the things she is most proud of is how she is contributing to the education of the students in the school. It is a feeling that is often reaffirmed by the number of kids who hang around the library these days.
“We want to excite kids about reading,” adds Carolyn Lamoureux, who, along with Sylvia Kozaveich, is a library helper, as well as an instructional aid at the school.
The St. Emile’s School library grand reopening was held recently. The event included local dignitaries, as well as entertainment and refreshments.
Monday, February 27, 2017
New Library exciting at St. Emile’s
By Michael Thibault For the Free Press October 21, 1998