Ed Erickson, director of the E.Y. Berry
- Bachelor’s, St. Cloud St. University, 1962, music
- Master’s, St. Cloud St. University, 1968, music
- Ed. D., University of South Dakota, 1972,
curriculum and instruction with emphasis in library media
- High school band director in Minnesota, 1962-1966
- Program advisor, St. Cloud State University,
- Lecturer, University of South Dakota, 1969-1972
- Joined the BHSU staff in 1972 as a professor of
library media and director of library learning center
Dr. Ed Erickson decided to become a librarian because
he saw that as a way to impact a large number of students and provide
enhanced education opportunities.
“A good library is needed to support academics. That
has always been my goal,” Erickson says.
Erickson, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in
music, first began his education career as a band director but decided
to become a librarian because he saw it a as an opportunity to “improve
the quality of instruction for all kids and have a chance to make an
impact for students studying a variety of subjects.”
“It’s been fun because you help so many students. When
students come in and you help them find what they need, it means
something. That’s what this is all about,” Erickson says.
When Erickson came to BHSU, his first task was to
oversee completion of the library building. In the 33 years since then,
he has been given many other tasks and, looking back, he feels a sense
of accomplishment for his achievements.
He was responsible for bringing the audio visual and
computing services into the library setting and was instrumental in
establishing the campus radio station, KBHU which recently celebrated
its 30th anniversary this spring.
Erickson is often referred to as “the father of the
South Dakota Library Network (SDLN)” for his work writing a grant
proposal that set up the statewide library system.
“The state library network is a major achievement,”
Erickson says. “It was a major resource for the state and BHSU was at
the forefront of that development.”
In 1993, Erickson received the honor of being named
state librarian of the year by the S.D. Library Association.
Just last month the library converted to a new system
which Erickson feels will provide enhanced services for library users
well into the future.
“It’s nice to retire knowing that you’ve left a new
system for others that has tremendous potential for the future,”
Erickson says that although ten years ago some people
were predicting the end of an era for libraries, he sees a bright future
for both libraries and the people who staff them.
“Technology is going to continue to change, and the
future of libraries is good. There is a lot of information out there,
but someone has to organize that information. Libraries will continue to
enhance their services,” Erickson says. “People sometimes need
assistance to translate information into usable data. It takes trained
people to do that.”
Erickson is looking forward to retirement as a time to
travel and visit his sons as well as other relatives and friends across
the country and overseas. He plans to stay involved in several
professional organizations including Phi Delta Kappa, for which he
currently serves as coordinator. He will also remain active volunteering
for Destination Imagination, a creative competition for elementary
students that he has been involved with for many years.
Although Erickson says he will consider temporary
work, he has his mind set on what he calls the “usual retirement things,
travel, camping, hiking, and visiting.” Erickson, a self-described
railroad buff, is looking forward to having more time to spend working
on model railroad displays and several other hobbies.
Erickson has been active in a variety of community
groups as well holding officer positions for the school board, several
service groups and his church. Erickson has two sons who are both in the
final stages of Ph.D. programs in science.
A retirement party for Erickson will be held Wednesday, April 27 from
2 to 4 p.m. in the Pangburn Hall Cafeteria Little Dining Room.
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