Storing away a little something for the future

09 December 2002
Good memories: To mark two good years at UCT, Kate Murray has set up a fund to help librarianship students make their way to local and international conferences.

AMERICAN student Kate Murray has, she says, had a thoroughly good time at UCT over the past two years.

Which is why, when she departs for the United States soon after graduation with a Masters degree in librarianship tucked in among her luggage, she will be leaving more than just her contact details behind.

Murray has generously set up an annual award of R2 500 that will, for the next few years, go towards the expenses of UCT librarianship students who wish to make poster presentations or deliver papers at local or international conferences. She will capitalise her first instalment with a couple of UCT paycheques and the refunded deposit on her Cape Town apartment.

The motivation for the fund comes from her experiences in the run-up to the 2002 gathering of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) in Glasgow, Scotland, in August, and a later meeting of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA).

Murray, working with UCT Library's Leslie Hart, Janine Dunlop and Margie Struthers, made history when she won the award for best poster presentation at the former, the first time that top honours had gone to an African institution.

But she almost had to forego the pleasure of attending the IFLA conference and the LIASA meeting — where she did a presentation on her award-winning trip to Scotland — because of a lack of funds. To make sure that other librarianship students have less trouble coming up with the wherewithal, Murray recently decided to make her “modest” contribution — keeping an amused eye on the strengthening rand, she confides.

“It's important for South African students, especially if they have a project that they want to present, to have the opportunity to go and meet colleagues and make connections and see what everyone else is doing,” she says. “IFLA was a great experience, not just for me, but for all of us who went, just to get a little feedback on what the rest of the world is up to.”

After graduation Murray will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia, with husband, Dr Dan Collins, who's been working with the Climate Systems Analysis Group in UCT Department of Environmental and Geographical Science for the past two years.

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