My name is Nadine Russell. I started last year as the Librarian in the Learning Commons at Oilfields. Over
the past year big changes have been taking place in our Learning Commons. With help I weeded the entire
collection, removing what seemed like over 50% of the non-fiction. The collection was full of some great
new books but also many that were from 1950-1990 – and even had checkout slips with my name on
them from my time at Oilfields. In December, Del Litke (our previous superintendent) made money
available to the Learning Commons in the division. All 19 were given funds to update our furniture.
At the end of last year I took on the giant project of doing an inventory of the textbooks. I became aware that we
were missing many books from the year previous when the floods closed the school early. I felt it was
more beneficial if we started fresh. I cleared all fines and waived all books that had not been returned.
I started the new policy ‘if you have an overdue textbook you have 3 options: bring it back, pay for it or
get your parents to call me and we will discuss the situation. You will not get a textbook issued to you
until you clear your account. If you truly have handed your book in, then I will waive it once’. So far I
have had a great deal returned, many opted to pay for the books and 3 parent phone calls.
It is my hope that a bit more responsibility will be taken for the textbooks and that we can encourage
and develop a culture of pride and respect for our school belongings. I am hoping to start more
dialogues with parents. Many good ideas for how we can change our system for collecting textbooks
have come from the parents I have talked with.