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On the Occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the Birth of Valiancina Kasciuk

On the Occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the Birth of Valiancina Kasciuk
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Ms Valiancina Kasciuk was born in 1931 in the village of Sciopkava, Sluck District, Minsk Region, into a family of farmers.

Valiancina's childhood, like all her peers, was scorched by the Great Patriotic War. The girl had to endure much grief and ordeal: her father died at war, her mother died in the first year of the war, and the ten-year-old Valiancina herself was evacuated to the Russian town of Kineshma in Ivanovo Region.

As soon as possible, she returned to the BSSR. In 1949, she completed seven years of secondary school in Hrozauka and entered the Hantsavichy State Pedagogical School. She had to combine her studies with work, and from her second year at school, she worked as a senior pioneer leader in the Khatynichy seven-year school, became a Komsomol organizer at her school, and later worked as a teacher in a kindergarten and in the Hresk orphanage.

In 1954, Valiancina completed her training, qualifying as a primary school teacher. For the next twelve years, she devoted herself to teaching. After starting as a boarding school teacher, she soon became head of pre-school No. 59 of Minsk. Ms Kasciuk received many commendations for her success in the challenging and very responsible task of educating the younger generation.

In February 1967, fate brought Ms Kasciuk to the State Library of BSSR named after V.I. Lenin (now the National Library of Belarus), where her career began as a Junior Librarian.

As Ms Kasciuk herself later recalled, the Library played a very important role in her life: “For me, the Library is my whole life. Everything I had was thanks to the Library. I graduated at the age of 44, and it was also thanks to the Library... ".

In 1975, Ms Kasciuk graduated from the Library Department of the Gorky Minsk State Pedagogical Institute (now the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after M. Tank). Initially, her initial professional activity in the library was connected with the Book Storage Department. From 1979 and for the next 8 years she headed the Newspaper Storing and Distribution Sector. She recalled the details of that time with particular warmth: “... I went to work as if it were a holiday. I wanted to look well, I wanted my reading room to be better than the others... And my dear readers? How many friends have I made thanks to the newspaper reading room!"

For two decades of work in the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin, Ms Kasciuk received many commendations, awards and certificates of merit from the management, was awarded the medal "Veteran of Labour".

She retired at the end of 1987. Having worked her way up from Junior Librarian to Head of the Newspaper Reading Room, she left a good mark on the history of the National Library of Belarus.

“Ms Kasciuk was a conscientious, sincere and bright person. Working side by side with her, I always felt her support, not only in her work, but also in everyday life. She generously lavished us with her attention: she was always waiting for us to visit her, organised tea parties at her favourite dacha... She was our mentor in the careful and reverent handling of the library collections...", Ms Natalia Aliejnikava recalls her fondly.

Kasciuk-2.jpg
Ms Kasciuk and Ms Aliejnikava. 2006

In retirement, Ms Kasciuk had a dream: “Now that I hear that a new library is going to be built, I pray to God for one thing: “Let me live and see the library”. Yes, I will crawl on my knees to see it... ".

The meeting with colleagues in the new building took place happily in October 2006. At that time, on the Day of Cultural Workers, veterans of the National Library of Belarus, who had been selflessly working on its development for many years, passing the baton to the new generation of library specialists by their example, were invited to the library.

In 2012, Ms Valiancina Kasciuk passed away.

The photo in the publication is from Ms Aliejnikava's personal archive.

Bibliology Research Department

Read about the veterans and employees of the National Library of Belarus in the news section “Our History: a Portrait Gallery.”
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