The Reg Erhardt library welcomed SAIT photojournalism student Robyn Hertz to take a photograph of all full-time library staff on the last day of April, 2014. As the photo was filed in the library’s internal drive, it became clear that a lot had changed since 2011, the time of the last “all staff” photo-shoot.
Former Library Manager, Susan Brayford, retired after several years of library administration and Genevieve Luthy stepped in to find a group of library staff members much different than the group captured in the 2011 photograph. Some of the same faces appear in both pictures. Librarian Dave Weber came to the SAIT library in 1988, followed closely by Terrie Findlay, who is not pictured in the most recent photo but remains a driving force at the library. Anne Marie De Groot came five years after Dave and Terrie in 1993. Alison Hart and Jennifer Peters (away the day the 2011 photo was taken) started their careers at SAIT in the 90’s. Among the group of library veterans in the 2011 photo is the sadly deceased and fondly remembered Zarha.
Corrinna Meidinger, Audrey Farch, Danica Dixon, Kathleen Johnston, and Janis Rapchuk continue to work at SAIT as library technicians within several areas of the library including Acquisitions, Interlibrary Loan, Communications, Serials and Access Services. Danica, Audrey and Janis started at the library as Evening/Weekend staff before joining the fulltime team. Jim Gray, though not pictured in 2011 photo, was indeed working as the Evening/Weekend supervisor in 2011 and continues in that role. Likewise, there is no evidence in the 2011 photo of the Archivist, Karly Sawatzky, though she did work at SAIT at the time. Web developer Kristian McInnis could not say precisely when he officially began his time at the library, but he is pictured in both photographs and remarks, “HR says 10 years”. And of course our Brenda Gee, administrative assistant at the library since 2007, smiles brightly in both photographs. Luke Malone, well-known to AAAL, continues his work at the library though he was far from Calgary on the day of the most recent photo, taking a New York City vacation from his new role as Instructional Technology Librarian.
Notice the new people in the 2014 picture. Samuel Cassady, AAAL chairperson and Collections Librarian, found his home at the Reg Erhardt library in 2012 and has since expanded the library’s collection of ebooks and taken one Chris Savage, Collection Development Technician, under his wing late in 2013. Taryn Alard began working on the website as a Web Development Technician in 2012 but had been a member of the Evening/Weekend Staff since 2010. Pablo Zanetta had been at the library since completing the LIT program at SAIT in 2009, but in 2013 became a fulltime Evening/Weekend staff person and took on collection responsibilities within several subject areas. Sarah Birch, AV Technician a current MLIS student at San Jose State University, joined the library team early in 2013. Genevieve Luthy came into her role as Library Manager in November 2013 with a user-focused attitude that has affected change within each function of library work at SAIT. Library staff members are encouraged to say “yes” whenever possible, which makes working at and visiting the library positive.
And the newest face at the Reg Erhardt Library is this writer, Emma Thompson, whose role at the library perhaps best illustrates how much time has passed since the last documented “all staff” photo was taken. In 2011, when Jason Kuffler worked as Coordinator of Library Instruction, Emma was embarking on her library school education at UWO. Since then, Jessica Norman took over as Coordinator of Instruction and then had a beautiful child (who, at less than three months of age, has a CPL card). Emma works as the Coordinator of Instruction until Jessica’s return from maternity leave.
The moral of the story these photographs tell could easily be this: Take more “all staff” photos because the makeup of the human aspect of libraries changes more rapidly than we might think. But truthfully, looking at the two very different photographs of the exact same staircase gives us pause and an opportunity to think about everything that’s changed at the Reg Erhardt Library since 2011. Our ebook selection has increased manifold and in ways driven by the user. We have supplemented the resources used within the classroom with recommended library material through our course development work (over 50 courses since Summer 2013!). We have simplified searching with the implementation of Ebsco Discovery Search. We’ve accomplished a lot while staying true to our core purpose as a library and as library staff: To have a positive impact on the success of students throughout their varied experiences at SAIT.
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