Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking it all in: 30 years of teaching and..learning!

Consumed by the details of daily life, we are sometimes surprised by time's relentless march.  It is amusing to think of how slowly a summer passes for a bored 10 year old and how quickly that same summer whizzes by for his/her parents.  For the Library and Information Technology Program at UFV, there is a constant tension between what must be done with what has been done. Time moves swiftly and so does the technology!

Instructor, program developer, librarian, mentor, and leader, Pat Sifton was the driving force behind the development of the diploma in its early days.  Her drive and fundamental understanding of teaching and learning continues to influence the direction of the program.
Although the program has maintained its focus on the process of building knowledge, the challenge to maintain a program that is consistent with technological change remains constant.  Tools and information sources have shifted formats numerous times over the life of the program.  The shift from manual typewriters, carbon copies, print indexes, and microform to web based databases, scanners and an endless stream of user applications has kept the program in a perpetual state of evolution.  
So, while we celebrate the hundreds of graduates that have walked to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance", clutching their crisp new diplomas, we also celebrate the balancing act of the program's instructors.  These instructors have successfully wrestled with change, introducing new concepts and technologies while reinforcing the value of standards and past practice.
Students of the program continue to be some of the most dedicated learners at UFV, delighting instructors in departments across the institution.  Program students have repeatedly won awards and recognition for their achievements including Dean's medals, writing awards and a myriad of scholarships.  The highly interdisciplinary nature of library studies means that students become something more than just "tech" students - they become passionate students of knowledge.
All of those who have been involved in the delivery of this program have been profoundly affected by the students, the institution, their colleagues and their predecessors.  After seven years at UFV, Christina Neigel maintains that, “It’s been a challenge but it has been a really, really rewarding experience.”  Jan Lashbrook Green says, “Teaching here at UFV, and despite all the work involved, nothing could be better for me.”  Tim Atkinson recalls, “The years teaching at UFV, were the most fun teaching years of my life.  The students were fun, engaging, involved.  It was a great experience.”  Kim Isaac states it best when she says, “To this day we’re still reaping the legacy that Pat has set the foundation for.  She set up a really strong foundation and high standards for the faculty, the program and the students.”
We formally celebrate 30 years October 1 - 3, 2010 at the Abbotsford campus of UFV. We hope to see you there!

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