ASSOCIATES (vol. 3, no. 1, July 1996) -

Table of Contents

                    _INTERVIEW WITH JIM HILL_
                           Kent Slade
                      Weber County Library
                      President-elec, COLT 
              Council on Library/Media Technicians 

This month's interview is with Jim Hill.  Jim is the new President of
the American Library Association's Support Staff Interest Round
Table (SSIRT).
Q. Tell us a little about yourself
A.  I was born on the day they rationed gasoline for WWII (although I
don't mind telling my age, this will give all the reference people
something to do).
I grew up in a small central Kansas town and after graduating from high
school in the same town I went off to Kansas Wesleyan in Salina, Kansas.
After graduating from Wesleyan I received a free tour of the Orient paid
for by our rich Uncle Sam.  I was stationed in Saigon and in spite of the
other 99% of the folks that served in Vietnam I did have a great time.
Returning from the Orient I met the little red headed woman that I live
with and we will soon be celebrating our 26 wedding anniversary.  We have
one son (age 27) and I will let the readers of this interview try to
figure that one out, who still lives with us and will soon graduate from
The University of Colorado at Denver.
Q. Tell us a little about your library.  We keep reading "Greetings
from Downtown Denver", so tell us a little about the area.
A. About 25 years ago the Colorado State Legislature appropriated money
to combine three institutions of higher education on one campus.  This
campus was to be located in a depressed area of downtown Denver called
Auraria.  Urban renewal came in and demolished most of the slums and
built an entirely new campus.  Historic Denver did prevail in certain
areas of the campus and several old buildings were restored back to
their original shape.  The library serves three institutions - Community
College of Denver - Auraria Campus, Metropolitan State College, and The
University of Colorado Denver Campus.  As a result we serve a student
population of about 30,000 individuals that range all the way from GED
and English as a Second Language students to PhD students in Physics
and Chemistry.  It is quite a diverse group and makes for an interesting
clientele.  Since the campus was built 25 years ago we have grown from
an urban campus with nothing around us but rail yards and slums to a
major amusement park two blocks away, a major league baseball stadium
four blocks away and a soon to be built brand new basketball arena.
Incidentally we are a commuter campus (no dormitories) and we are located
about two blocks from Downtown Denver, hence "Greetings from beautiful
downtown Denver".
Q. Colorado has a very progressive library association.  Can you tell us
a little about it, what it has done (especially for support staff), and
some of the current things it is doing?
A. I have been associated with the Colorado Library Association for about
the last 15 years (off and on).  The Paralibrarian division (when I first
joined) was a roundtable and eventually we were able to get the
roundtable changed to a division.  This means that we have a voting
member that sets on the CLA board and we have just as much say as any of
the other divisions.  In the past, two of the Presidents of the Colorado
Library Association have been paralibrarians...Lucy Schweers from the
University of Northern Colorado, and who has since retired, was the first
and Stephany Liptak from the University of Southern Colorado was the
second.  The division itself raises money to send a paralibrarian to ALA
and we are the only division that doesn't have its money thrown into the
general budget of CLA.  We also give an award at the annual Colorado
Library Association Convention to the outstanding paralibrarian of the
year.  This award is called the Lucy Schweers Award and is given for
excellence in Paralibrarianship.  As you can guess it honors Lucy for
being the first paralibrarian to become president of CLA.
Q. How did you get involved with ALA SSIRT?
A. My involvement with the SSIRT roundtable of ALA began here in Denver.
I had attended several ALA conferences and found that it was very hard
to locate meetings that were of interest to paraprofessionals.   However,
when ALA midwinter was held here in Denver I was responsible for the
local arrangements booth.  While supervising the manning of the booth,
someone came up and wanted to know where the Support Staff Interest
Roundtable meeting was being held.  That's when I discovered the
roundtable and, as they say, the rest is history...
Q. You are about to embark on your first full year as President of
SSIRT.  Any plans or goals you want to share with us?  What
would you like to accomplish?
A.  Since SSIRT is the newest roundtable with ALA there are unlimited
opportunities to do things for support staff.  If there is one thing
that I wish to accomplish it is to make SSIRT more visible to the c
ommunity of Support Staff members.  The SSIRT board will be meeting
in New York prior to ALA to talk about which goals we wish to
accomplish so perhaps I could speak to that later.  If there was one
other thing that I wish I could accomplish (but I know I will never
see this in my life time) is to find a common name that would please
all support staff.