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Home Community Voices Former Shellbrook librarian wins 2022 Helen Ferris Award

Former Shellbrook librarian wins 2022 Helen Ferris Award

Former Shellbrook librarian wins 2022 Helen Ferris Award
Alanna Carswell proudly displays her check from Prince Albert Public Library's Helen Ferris scholarship. The scholarship is for students of the Prince Albert area to study library sciences. Carswell is a Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies student at the School of Information, University of British Columbia. -- Submitted photo.

Alanna Carswell, a former Shellbrook branch librarian and employee of the Prince Albert Public Library (PAPL), is the winner of the 2022 Helen Ferris Award.

PAPL offers the Helen Ferris awards annually to assist students of the Prince Albert area to study library science. Carswell is a Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies student at the School of Information, University of British Columbia.

“I was thrilled and honoured when I heard the news,” Carswell said. “I am so thankful that Helen Ferris established this award. I appreciate the timely financial assistance especially as it helps me avoid student debt until the fall semester.”

Helen Ferris taught at Connaught School in Prince Albert and lived in Christopher Lake after her retirement.  Her bequest to the PAPL has two parts.  The first, on display in the library, was a plaque inscribed “In memory of Mary E. Gillmor and all women residents of the City of Prince Albert and area prior to 1900.”  The second part of the bequest provided for annual scholarships or bursaries for students of library science and technology from Prince Albert and area, with one of $1,000 for library technician students, and the other, which Carswell won, of $2,000 for master’s students.

“I especially appreciate that Helen honoured women pioneers,” Carswell added. “In my undergraduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan, I became familiar with the Pioneer Questionnaires at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan. These are a treasure trove of the indomitable spirit of our women pioneers.”

Carswell started her masters online from her home in the RM of Shellbrook in January 2021. She then relocated to Vancouver in August 2021 when classes resumed on campus.

Carswell encourages other library science students in Prince Albert or area to apply. Information is available at https://www.princealbertlibrary.ca/index.php/about/awards.