École Notre Dame School Library Technician Lena Bourgeois cuts the cake to serve the many guests at the grand re-opening celebration of the new and improved school library Thursday afternoon. – Lucie Roy Photo
By Lucie Roy
Morinville – The École Notre Dame School students, staff and guests gathered for the grand re-opening of the new and improved library Thursday afternoon. Both Library Technician Lena Bourgeois and Principal Marlene Pelletier echoed the School’s new beginnings theme during the event.
Bourgeois said there are currently 24,000 items in the library, includes kits, teacher resources and books for preschool to Grade 4 readers. “Before the changes in the schools and students it was maybe 14,000,” Bourgeois said. “It was a huge undertaking to accommodate all the books.”
The working library now has two computer systems and a Smart Board, an interactive whiteboard that doubles as a chalkboard and projection screen. Also new is a small French book library section of fiction and non-fiction titles for the Immersion students. The new low and colourful mobile book shelving units make it easier access for the Kindergarten and Grade One students and are easier to move around as required. Some of the furniture from the former Vanier School Library is mixed in with the old and new.
Guest at the opening included Mayor Paul Krauskopf, Deputy-Mayor Nicole Boutestein, Councillor Lisa Holmes and CAO Debbie Oyarzun. Guests from Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools included Louis Kloster Religious Education and Family Life, Rosaleen McEvoy Consultant Board Chair, Deb Schlag Sec.-Treas, Noreen Radford Morinville Ward and Dean McKinney the Division Technology Coordinator who had the celebration broadcast live to every classroom.
Retired school receptionist Kathy Swerda and retired teacher Linda Gibson were in attendance. They have both been at the library helping Bourgeois with the huge undertaking. Swerda said she was busy with the culling of the books, the set up and organization. Principal Marlene Pelletier said in August the huge sea can was offloaded with the books and teacher resources and Bourgeois wanted to make sure they would be set up in time for the start of the school year. “Lena has a true passion for this library and with assistance it was organized in time,” Pelletier said.
A special book was circulated to commemorate the new library. All the students, teachers and guests had an opportunity to sign their names and write down the title of their favourite book. “Reading is very important and literacy needs to be celebrated,” Bourgeois said. “This special book will be on display as a reminder of the importance of reading and of the opening of our new library.”
The choir sang I Love Books followed by Lena Bourgeois performing the ribbon cutting to officially open the new library. The Parade of Students involved more than 500 students following their teachers for a walk through the library with Olympian-style music playing in the background as they entered and exited the library. Students a banner with picture they drew and the title and author of their favourite book. Bourgeois said the banners would be placed on the walls in the library.
The celebration included the blessing of the library by Kloster and mention of St Jerome and St. Catherine of Alexandria who are the patron saints of libraries and librarians.