Jim Hobbs to retire after sustained career of service to Loyola

If you’ve ever ordered something using interlibrary loan or used one of our many research guides to find just the right database for your work, you’ve benefited from some of Jim Hobbs’ handiwork. Serving most recently as the library’s Online Services Coordinator, he will be retiring from his position after the end of this semester. Jim started working at Loyola’s Monroe Library 1989, and in those twenty-nine years he’s helped the library both through a move into a whole new building (in 1999) and through an equally revolutionary move into the digital age.

While the electronic searching capacity that we nowadays take for granted was still in its infancy, Jim was a big part of bringing those new digital information systems to Loyola. As the architect of one of Monroe Library’s earliest websites in 1996, he helped begin the shift away from text-only search terminals that covered just our print books. (Check out that early website — so retro!)

Connecting people with the information they need through a range of different channels is Jim’s speciality. He manages our interlibrary loan system, ILLiad, as well as the staff who work the magic of moving materials to our users from far away. And he’s also aces at helping to get people’s login credentials straightened out so we can all use the library from almost anywhere on the planet. On top of all this, Jim has been our liaison to the sciences, teaching students how to find, use, and evaluate information in an always-changing environment.

There’s also a side to Jim that might not be as visible at work, but is still continuous with who he is. His signature trait of giving back to the community is evident in his service as a volunteer for New Orleans musical institutions such as Jazz Fest. He promotes Cajun and Zydeco culture and heritage as a WWOZ engineer and radio host on the station’s weekly C&Z music show (Sundays from noon to 2 pm). Not surprisingly, Jim also uses his expertise as a librarian to help preserve Acadian culture with his database of Cajun and Zydeco music LPs and other recordings. He even writes a music blog!

And maybe we shouldn’t reveal too much here, but there are also two different carnival organizations that can boast of having Jim as a member.

Over the years we’ve been so blessed with his calm, reassuring presence, his technical expertise, and his willingness to help out, no matter what. Congratulations, Jim — we’re really going to miss you!

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