Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Farewell to Librarian Extraordinaire Jim Newsome

This week the St. Kate’s Libraries say good-bye to Jim Newsome, longtime employee and familiar face at the library and across campus. You may know him best for his cameo appearance as the Library Fairy in the library orientation film from TRW class. Or he might have taught you about Shakespeare concordances during a visit to the Library, or he might have reassured you when you didn’t know how to look up the effects of diet on diabetes.

Jim Newsome as the Library Fairy

While an employee of the university, Jim has served as Librarian, Head of Public Services, and, most recently, Acting Director. He earned his Master of Arts in Theology here and wrote his dissertation on Etty Hillesum. His complete annotated bibliography of her work can be found online at the Etty Hillesum website.

Asked about his most unforgettable moment here, Jim told us:

Once awhile back, I spoke to an MLIS class about "what it's like to be a reference librarian." Afterwards, one of the students came up to me, and said, "You know Mr. Newsome, you were a real inspiration for me tonight." I gave her a gracious smile. Then she said, "Yes, you were a real inspiration, 'cause I figured, if he can do it, I can do it." My smile turned to a laugh, and I'm still laughing.
After a full (and fulfilling) 27 years at St. Catherine University, Jim's retirement plans include, among other things, to catch up on his reading and writing. We’ll doubtless see him in the library again.

Note: Mark your calendars for a farewell reception Oct. 2 from 4-6pm. Details to follow.

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