Robin Drader: Guiding the College’s Printing Services for 34 Years

Robin Drader’s relationship with Camosun began when she was a student in the college’s Applied Communications Program. In 1978, a few years after graduating, Robin returned to Camosun to work as the only full- time employee in Printing Services, located then in the basement of the Young building. An additional full-time staff member was added soon after as the demand for classroom printed materials grew. Over the years, the Lansdowne printshop moved to the Fisher building while another was opened at Interurban.

Robin assembled and fostered the development of a wonderful team which supported each other through life’s ups and downs: marriages, births, deaths, breakups and hospitalizations. According to Robin, a pre-requisite for working in the printshop was “a wide streak of silliness”. Halloween was the group’s favourite event of the year, and a lot of energy was put into creating a theme. Cirque du So Lame was one of the favourites. Clearly, It was a workplace infused with a large dose of fun.

During her 34 years at Camosun, Robin and her team were immersed in challenging and fascinating technological developments. Change was a constant. From calculators, electric typewriters and paper memos sent via inter-office mail, the college moved to desk-top computers, spreadsheets, word-processing, email and desk-top laser printers. The Printshop’s equipment evolved from semi-manual, messy mechanical offset presses and off-line collators to faster highly automated electronic printers with multiple features.

By 2004 office printers, purchased by individual departments, were administered by IT Services while photocopiers were purchased and administered by Printing Services.

Scales of economy were recognized if administration of the entire printing fleet was managed under a single department. Printing Services was tasked with this centralized administration, and a new position, Manager of Printing Services. was created which Robin capably filled until her retirement in 2012.

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