Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

June 25, 2009

SKC Librarian Carlene Engstrom moves on; but she'll be back

By Lailani Upham

From left to right: Carlene Engstrom, Natalie Malatarre, Fred Noel, Mary Lou Mires and Mary Driscoll are captured one final merry moment, as staff family in front of the ‘do not reshelve books’ bookcase at SKC library. (Lailani Upham photo)
From left to right: Carlene Engstrom, Natalie Malatarre, Fred Noel, Mary Lou Mires and Mary Driscoll are captured one final merry moment, as staff family in front of the ‘do not reshelve books’ bookcase at SKC library. (Lailani Upham photo)

PABLO — It’s always hard to leave home, but for most Indians, they always come back.

That’s the buzz on Carlene Engstrom, Salish Kootenai College Library Director. She is moving on in life she says, off to Oregon with her husband, Dale, who recently received a position with the Oregon Department of Energy, as a Natural Resource Specialist for the Nuclear Safety and Energy Siting Department.

Engstrom says although they have relocated, they plan keep their home in Polson and retire here in the future.

Her service and dedication with SKC Library has lasted nearly a decade. She has not only seen the library expand by leaps and bounds but the college as well.

As a tribal college library director Engstrom’s has acquired a list of honors and recognitions such as President of the American Indian Library Association, Member of the Federal Depository Library Council, named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in the March 2009 issue, Montana Library Association Director at Large for the West and Chair of the Academic and Special Library Division of the Montana Library Association, She also attended and received a scholarship to the Association of College and Research Library Harvard Leadership Institute.

Engstrom said since being with SKC, she is especially proud of the online library circulation and catalog functions that eventually merged into an academic state-of-the-art system that enabled the college to join the University of Montana shared library system.

As a library director she also guided the development of the genealogy research by adding an online genealogy web-based database.

Her expertise of years in the librarian profession led to many lasting effects at SKC library such as: the annual poetry programs for the past ten years, digitizing and posting the historic issues of the Char-Koosta on the web for easy searching, and getting funding for summer reading programs.

Although she is saying so long but not good-bye, Engstrom will certainly be missed. “The library will miss her leadership and her interest in improving tribal libraries,” said Fred Noel, SKC librarian/cataloger.

Noel will be stepping up to take the library director spot at SKC in July.

SKC’s library family took the time out last week for a cakes, nuts, and punch reception for Engstrom, where tons of big hugs were given by SKC staff, former and current students along with community folks.

As a librarian, Engstrom says she is looking forward to experiencing new things, but personally she adds, “It’s hard to go, as a tribal member; you have a sense of pride of how it’s grown.”

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