First Canadian Library Technician program started at the Manitoba Institute of Technology in Winnipeg as a one-year certificate program


The Vancouver School Board’s proposal to establish a “city college” to “provide technical, vocational and academic education at the post-secondary level in accordance with provincial legislation for district colleges” was accepted. The college was to continue to provide for the adult high school classes already in operation at King Edward Centre, and would also operate in conjunction with the Vancouver Vocational Institute and the Vancouver School of Art, to avoid duplication of specialized facilities, and to ensure the maximum course selection n the programs offered. It was already determined that the King Edward site was unsuitable for further expansion, so a site at 49 th Avenue and Ontario Street was selected for an uptown campus, to be called Langara. Among the course offerings proposed for the new college was “Library Services.”


The King Edward Centre of Continuing Education, located at 12 th Avenue and Oak Street, opened in September 1965 in what was the oldest high school in Vancouver. It was one of the first regional junior colleges to be established in B.C.; its initial student complement was 2,000 students.


The first courses in the new “Library/Museum Assistant” program are offered, under program director Marjorie Sing. Regarding the new program, the course calendar for 1966-1967 stated “Discussions are being held with representatives of the Vancouver Public Library system, the Vancouver museums and aquarium with the view to establishing a training program leading to employment in these institutions. The program will include training in clerical skills, display techniques, cataloguing systems, communication skills, and other topics, which would enable the student to assist the librarian or director in serving the public. A committee has been established to develop the training program and a more detailed outline of studies will be developed shortly. It is hoped that the program will start in September 1966.” It was anticipated that a number of projects for Canada’s centenary year would provide an increased demand for skilled technicians in libraries and museums.


The courses in the one-year Library/Museum Assistant Program include: two courses in English (Communication and Advanced Communication), Typing and Supervised Typing, Display Techniques, Psychology, Library or Museum Philosophy and Function, Library or Museum workshop, and Library or Museum Techniques.


Nine graduates in the Library Assistant program.


Two separate one-year certificate programs – Library Assistant and Museum Assistant – are established. Virginia Chisholm becomes the director of the Library Assistant program. New courses added to the program include: Mechanical Aids, Personnel Management, Library Techniques, and Library Fieldwork.


On the morning of Tuesday, October 13, students and faculty process from the old King Edward Centre campus to the new Langara campus, interrupting studies and courses for only one-half day.


A two-year Library Technician diploma course is established at the Langara campus of Vancouver Community College. New courses added include: Nonbook Materials and Readers Services.


The first group of students graduated from the Library Technician diploma program.


Joan Anastasiou becomes program director, after Virginia Chisholm moves to the Douglas College Library. Virginia Chisholm continued to serve on the Langara Advisory Committee for the Library Technician Program for many years. After her death in 1999, the British Columbia Library Association and the Council of Post- Secondary Library Directors established an award in her name to honour her important role in the development of library technical training in British Columbia.

The award provides a BCLA conference registration for a Library Technician student in training in British Columbia.

1988 – 1991

Marilyn Ming becomes program director after Joan Anastasiou’s retirement.

1991 – 1995

Ann Calla serves as department chair


Langara College was established as an independent public college under the Provincial College and Institutes Act on April 1, 1994.

1995 – 1996

Ann Calla and Guy Robertson serve as co-department chairs of the program.

1996– 1998

Ann Calla serves as department chair.

1998 – 2004

Jacqueline Bradshaw serves as department chair.

2004 – 2011

Carol Elder  serves as department chair.

2011  – 2013

Susan Burdak serves as department chair.

2013  – 2020

Diane Thompson serves as department chair.

2020 -

Fiona Hunt serves as department chair.

Walker, Diane, compiler. A brief history of the Library & Information Technology Program At Langara College, Vancouver, British Columbia. Retrieved from http://www.bcla.bc.ca/ltaig/page/langara%20college%20program.aspx

Diane Walker is former LTAIG chair and committee member.