Chrisman, librarian and associate professor
- Bachelor’s, 1964, Central Missouri State U,
- Master’s, 1968, Central Missouri State
University, library science
- Joined the BHSU staff in 1979 as an associate
professor and reference librarian
Retiring librarian Barbara Chrisman says she has the
best job in the library and continues to enjoy her job because of the
variety of her work and the ever-changing and ongoing contact with
“Being a reference librarian is an exciting job. I
like helping faculty and students. I have different things to do every
day and work with different people as I help students and faculty,” B.
Chrisman says. “I get to learn new things all the time too. As I’m
looking up information on a variety of topics, it expands my knowledge.
I like that.”
B. Chrisman taught in elementary schools for five
years before earning a master’s degree in library science. She worked as
a reference librarian while her husband, Riley, finished his doctorate
B. Chrisman and her family moved to Spearfish in 1979.
She had planned to take some time off when Riley began his teaching job
at BHSU; however, since she had either been in school or teaching school
most of her life, it wasn’t long before she enrolled in an adolescent
literature class at BHSU. A few months later, she saw an advertisement
for a reference job at the E.Y. Berry Library and applied. That began
what was to become a 26-year career at the BHSU library.
Through the years, B. Chrisman has seen some major
changes both in the library and throughout the campus. She was involved
with the re-classification of the library from a Dewey Decimal system to
the Library of Congress system. In the early 80s, B. Chrisman worked to
help establish the online catalog access and institute a national
catalogue database. B. Chrisman says BHSU was on the forefront of a
statewide effort to incorporate a collaborative catalog. Recently she,
along with several other BHSU librarians, became part of a statewide
“virtual librarian” service that answers patrons’ questions in real time
via the internet.
B. Chrisman predicts that although librarians’ tasks
continue to change, they will remain in demand in the future.
“Some people may think we don’t need libraries because
of the internet. Because there is so much information students need
direction,” B. Chrisman says. “There are so many options, students need
to learn to be more specific as they are conducting searches for term
papers and research.”
B. Chrisman is looking forward to spending her
retirement time sewing and says she may take up quilting. She is also
looking forward to traveling and reading.
“Librarians don’t have time to read. I’ve seen a lot
of books, and now I’m ready to spend some time actually reading them,”
B. Chrisman says. She and her husband are both retiring this year and
are looking forward to the lifestyle changes.
“This seemed like a good time for us to retire. At
this point we have some avocations rather than vocations that we want to
A retirement celebration for Riley and Barbara Chrisman will be held
Sunday, May 1 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Hudson Hall (222 West Hudson
Street, Spearfish). No gifts please.
Back to Retirees