Dr. Ed Erickson, director of the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center

  • 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, 1966-69
  • 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.

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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