Pembina Trails School Division
When one thinks of school libraries in Manitoba in the past twenty years, one name that continually rises to the top is Nell Ududec. Ms. Ududec is currently the Educational Resources/Library Consultant for the Pembina Trails School Division, a position she has held for the past seven years but her love and leadership for school libraries started well before she took on this position.
After receiving training in school librarianship at the University of Manitoba, in 1992, Nell left her classroom position at Dalhousie School in Fort Garry where she had taught grades 2, 3, and 4 for 15 years, to take on the teacher-librarian position at Bairdmore Elementary School. As a new school in the Fort Garry School Division, Ms. Ududec was able to leave her mark on a community of learners that respected her love of reading, information literacy, technology and learning. The library at Bairdmore was truly the "heart" of the school. It’s warm and welcoming atmosphere encouraged many students to actively participate in the many programs that Nell organized. Many students have later testified that the library activities at Bairdmore School were transformative experiences and proved the basis for a life-long love of reading and learning. At Bairdmore, her leadership in literacy, inquiry and technology stood out as she provided many professional development opportunities for her staff members and collaborated with them to bring meaningful projects and assignments to life.
Nell Ududec’s influence in the library field does not stop at the school level. For many years, she served as the treasurer of the Manitoba School Library Association and in later years, as the Educational Resources/Library Consultant for the Pembina Trails School Division, a position which she took over in 2007; Nell served as the chair and co-chair of the MSLA’s annual SAGE Conference. In her role as divisional library consultant, Nell has also collaborated with the library consultants/coordinators from LRSD, WSD, and RETSD to provide quality library professional learning for teacher-librarians bringing to Winnipeg some of the best speakers and experts in the school library field. Nell has been a vital member of SLAM (School Library Administrators of Manitoba) where, as chair, she has provided valuable guidance to school library administrators in various school divisions.
Always supportive of teacher-librarians and library technicians throughout their careers, for the past seven years, Ms. Ududec has provided outstanding professional development at monthly meetings in Pembina Trails and on a one-to-one basis, as requested. In fact, when she put her name forward for her current position, it was with the understanding that she would be able to provide quality professional development to school library staffs throughout the division – PD was her number one priority and she continues to deliver on this promise daily. Nell takes a special interest in mentoring those who are new to the role of teacher-librarian and library technician. Both groups talk of her caring, enthusiastic and approachable nature as they have moved into these demanding positions. She has provided guidance to teachers in their first five years by presenting sessions at MTS’ Fab 5 Conference and she has travelled outside the city to schools in south-western Manitoba to share her vast knowledge of school libraries with them.
In 2008 and 2009, Nell Ududec was the driving force behind a lobbying effort to update, improve and develop the library collections in the Pembina Trails School Division. This renewal of school libraries, with the purchase of new books, materials and databases, is still clearly evident today. The amount of work Nell put into convincing the school board to support school libraries in this way, coordinating book vendor fairs, negotiating increased discounts with vendors and assisting schools in purchasing where necessary cannot go unnoticed. In 2012, Nell once again fought to bring school libraries into the 21st century by negotiating and implementing in all Pembina Trails schools, Destiny Quest, a state of the art library operating system that allows patrons to access resources anywhere, anytime. As well, she has facilitated the review and purchase of databases at the divisional level and has provided many in-service opportunities for integrating the latest technologies into school libraries.
It has truly been the students that she has taught, and the students of teacher-librarians she has mentored over the years who have benefited the most by Nell’s guidance and leadership in school libraries. She has dedicated her professional teaching career to ensuring that all students and teachers find their passions and are given the rights tools to succeed. The enthusiasm, energy, knowledge and skills she brings to work every day has demonstrated the critical role that school libraries play in student achievement, literacy and the love of reading.
Library Technician Support: Ms. Ududec has provided the highest quality of leadership to the library staff of Pembina Trails S.D. for the past several years. She ensures that our library staffs are kept well informed of new developments in the rapidly changing world of libraries. Ms. Ududec also played an instrumental role in obtaining an annual day long in-service for library technicians. She often finds expert presenters or presents professional learning sessions herself to our group. Her passion for 21st century learning and related technologies keep our libraries at the forefront.
Ms. Ududec is very approachable for the library technicians seeking one-on-one consultation. Her ability to support staff with compassion and understanding is one of her best qualities. Ms. Ududec never hesitates to acknowledge a job well done by the library staff of our Division.
Provincially, as a leader on the School Library Administrators committee (SLAM), she has been an
advocate for school libraries in Manitoba. She has collaborated with other school divisions to provide
quality in‐servicing for teacher‐librarians. She has served on the executive of the Manitoba School
Library Association for many years including being the chairperson and/or co‐chairperson for the
Manitoba School Library Association’s SAGE Committee which provided inspirational PD to school library
staffs across the province.
Nell continues to be a leader and advocate for strong libraries at the school, divisional and provincial
level. Congratulations on a well deserved award!