WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A woman who has spent 30 years serving students, not in the classroom, but when they are hitting the books in the library is retiring.
Clara Latham said it has been fun to watch the evolution of students and how they approach their education but also the evolution of the library and access to information.
For 21 years Jason Brezina worked with MSU’s librarian of more than 30 years Latham, now he reflects on who she is as she prepares to retire.
“She usually works with you if you have a problem or if you have everything that you need, she is wonderful about that, she is very caring, she always does her volunteer work,” Brezina said.
Latham, who started at the library in October of 1989, talked about where her passion for her career stemmed from.
“I think it’s just fun to watch the evolution of students how they evolve and how they access material, how they work with that material,” Latham said.
But also the evolution of the library itself, so Latham takes us back to three decades ago.
“There was no such thing as PCs for students to use, we did have terminals that you could access the library catalog on a computer but it was all hooked to a mainframe,” Latham said.
As time went on, much changed and while change is good, Latham talked about what was lost as things got modern.
“That serendipity of going to the shelves, looking for the book you found in the catalog but also the books right beside it, so you didn’t even know there is something you’d be interested into,” Latham said.
But with students having a need for targeted information, the new technology saves students time and allows for a portable form of learning.
Now as she prepares to close this chapter of her life Latham said she hoped students see their librarians as partners in their educational path.
Though she is retiring, her work is not done in the community.
Latham said she will continue delivering Meals on Wheels, doing tax returns with the VITA tax program as well as tutoring with the Wichita Adult Literacy Council.
Latham said her plan was to always retire at the end of the renovations and hopes people will start using the library a lot more once restrictions are lifted.