ASSOCIATES (vol. 3, no. 1, July 1996) - associates.ucr.edu
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_INTERVIEW WITH JIM HILL_ by Kent Slade Weber County Library President-elec, COLT Council on Library/Media Technicians firstname.lastname@example.org 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.