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Alumni, Instructors and Students Celebrate 50 Years of library programming at Red River College

June 19, 2014

On Monday, May 12 approximately 80 alumni, current and past staff, and students of Red River College’s (RRC) Library programming gathered at the Delta Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the College’s Library and Information Technology (LIT) diploma program and the 25th anniversary of the RRC Continuing Education Library Training (LTP) program.
The evening, organized in conjunction with the 2014 Manitoba Libraries Conference, featured speakers representing the entire history of library education at RRC. Ganga Dakshinamurti got things rolling with warm tales of the programs’ earliest days (from before the College was even called Red River). Howard R. Engel literally wore two hats in telling the crowd about his experiences as a Library Technician Certificate and Library Technology Diploma student, as well as his experiences as an instructor in library training at the College and a staff member of the Exchange District Campus John and Bonnie Buhler Library. Michelle Micuda gave a moving speech that described how being a distance learning student in the LIT program helped her through a very challenging time in her life. Finally, Jolene Shepherd spoke about what it is like to be a student in the program today, and what being part of the program has meant to her.
The speaking program for the evening also recognized recent student award winners from the LIT program, including Betty Andrich Memorial Entrance Award recipients Jolene Shepherd and Christine Janzen, PAR Excellence E.Q. Award recipient Jolene Shepherd, and Manitoba Association of Library Technicians Student Award recipient Phillip Enns.
Also featured was a slide show on the history of the programs prepared by current LIT student Mervin Koscielny and LIT faculty member Brian Rountree. Rountree also prepared Reminiscences: Snippets From Our Past, a publication on the history of RRC’s library programs, several copies of which were made available to attendees for perusal while they mixed and mingled, and PDF copies of which are still available (contact Brian at brountree@rrc.ca, or Kelly Stifora at rstifora@rrc.ca if you would like an electronic copy)!
In addition to the speaking program and opportunities to mix, mingle and learn more about the history of these programs, there were draws for door prizes from Great Plains Publications, PartyLite Candles courtesy of Diana Harwood-Jones, and the Red River College Bookstore, Library, College and Public Relations Department, and Continuing Education department as well as hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
All around, it was a great, relaxed evening that everyone seemed to enjoy, and some money was raised for supporting future library students at the college (the exact amount of which is still being determined). Much thanks for the success of the event goes to all who helped organize it, including the members of the event planning committee, the staff at the Delta, our sponsors the Manitoba Association and Library Technicians (MALT) and the RRC Creative Arts Department, and the organizers of the 2014 Manitoba Libraries Conference.
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Betty Andrich Memorial Entrance Award recipients Christine Janzen (left) and Jolene Shepherd (right) celebrated with Betty’s daughter Sheila Andrich (centre).
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LIT diploma program graduate Michelle Micuda gave a moving speech about how studying in the program through distance education helped her through a difficult time.
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Past Library Technician Instructor Ganga Dakshinamurti took attendees for a walk down memory lane to the beginnings of library education at RRC.
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MALT Past President Mikaela Oldenkamp presented the MALT Student Award to Phillip Enns.
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Howard R. Engel shared his experiences as a library student, instructor and staff member at Red River College.