BROWSE BY:     Title Number Subject Creator Digital Content

Interview with Louise Jackson, April 14, 2004 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

pdf icon Get PDF Version
Title:
Interview with Louise Jackson, April 14, 2004
Date:
April 14, 2004
Description:
Louise Jackson was born on June 29, 1936, in the small town of Clover, South Carolina. She earned her undergraduate degree from Winthrop University and her Masters of Library Science from Emory University, where she was taught by Helen Hagan. In 1967, Hagan recruited Jackson to come and work with her at Wilmington College. In this interview, Jackson discusses the significant changes she saw in her years as UNCW reference librarian: the construction of the new building, the switch to automation, the emergence of computers as a research tool, and the growth of the university. She also talks of building the serials collection and experiencing the thrill of "the hunt."
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Jackson, Louise Interviewer: Hayes, Sherman / Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview: 4/14/2004 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 74 minutes

Hayes: Today is April 14th, 2004. We have Paul Zarbock, Special Consultant and Assistant to the University Librarian at UNCW, and Sherman Hayes, University Librarian, interviewing our special guest, Louise Jackson. And Louise is an Emeritus Associate Professor. But most well-known as an extremely longtime outstanding librarian at William Madison Randall Library at UNCW. This interview is part of the UNCW-- Voices of UNCW, Series of Oral History. So we welcome you today. And we start with a very innocuous question, which is if you could again tell us your full name and when you were born.

Jackson: My name is Mary Louise Jackson. I was born June the 29th, 1936 on Main Street in Clover, South Carolina.

Hayes: Clover, South Carolina. And although we're going to concentrate on your career here in libraries, why don't you set us up a before you got here, what was your life? Where did you go and start before you got to Wilmington?

Jackson: Okay, I started-- well, I graduated from high school in Clover. It's a little town, about 3,000 people. Went to a small junior college in South Carolina, where I worked in the kitchen. Then went to Winthrop, and my job was a library assistant.

Hayes: Now where's Winthrop at?

Jackson: In Rock Hill, South Carolina. After I graduated at Winthrop, I taught school in St. Paul, Virginia, which is close to Bristol, up in the mountains of Virginia for three years, and then went back to Winthrop to work in the library.

Hayes: And what did you teach? What grades?

Jackson: High school. Uh.. English.

Hayes: And was that your undergraduate was--English?

Jackson: Uh.. no, actually, my undergraduate was history, but the uh.. coach had to have something to teach, so he taught the history. [laughter] You could come in and say, "Answer the questions at the end of the chapter." So the coach taught history. I never got a chance to teach history, which was my love pretty much. B- but uh.. I got a chance to go back and work in the library at Winthrop, and I worked on nine-month contracts at Winthrop, and went to Emory University in the summers, to work on my degree.

Hayes: This is for a masters in library science.

Jackson: Masters in library science. And while I was at Emory, Ms. Hagan, Helen Hagan was one of the teachers.

Hayes: Really? That's fascinating!

Jackson: So when I graduated, I stayed on at Winthrop, I was there for six years. And one summer when ALA met in uh.. Atlantic City, I went up to ALA and ran into Ms. Hagan, and she said, "Why don't you come down to Win-- to Wilmington and visit?" So I said, "Okay." So I came down to visit her and she said, "Would you like a job?"

Hayes: Well, now let's tell people who Helen Hagan was. I mean, Paul doesn't even know who she was.

Zarbock: But earlier than that-- what year did you finish your masters degree?

Jackson: Uh.. well, let's see, I finished in '64, 1964.

Zarbock: And again, for the purpose of this tape, which 50 years from now may need some deciphering, what is ALA?

Jackson: American Library Association.

Zarbock: Which is the national...

Jackson: It's the national association. Emory was one- Emory was one of their accredited library schools.

Hayes: And MLS stands for?

Jackson: Master of Library Science.

Hayes: And that's the degree that you have.

Jackson: Yeah, that was.

Hayes: And Emory is quite a good school. I mean, uh...

Jackson: There is no library school there now.

Hayes: Oh, is that right? But it had a great reputation.

Jackson: Well, people, all-- it went at the same time Peabody went. Uh.. there was so many of the public schools, I think, that added the degrees. That the private schools, a lot of them, found it was no longer economically feasible to offer that degree.

Hayes: And I didn't even realize at that time that you could do it through a summer program. That's pretty innovative.

Jackson: Most of the people at Emory were going in the summertime. Uh.. a lot of them were schoolteachers, going back-- second career. I actually uh.. took a leave of absence the winter quarter in '63, and finished my course work, but I had to take a couple of incompletes on a couple of papers, 'cause I was doubling up, and I finished in '64.

Hayes: Now I happen to know that you still have a house and live in Clover at times. So tell us a little bit about Clover, because I think that's a real important part of your history. I mean, what is Clover?

Jackson: Well, Clover is a little mill town about eight miles south of the North Carolina line. But we are South Carolinians. We're very proud of being South Carolinians. Uh.. my parents worked in the mills there as most people did. And uh...

Hayes: Mills, textile mills?

Jackson: Textile mills, yes. Most have all closed now.

Hayes: And had those come down from the north much earlier, or...

Jackson: Oh, the ones in Clover opened in the early 1900s. Uh.. they-- momma and daddy had moved to town in the '20s from country, as most of the mill people had done.

Hayes: Do you have brothers and sisters?

Jackson: Had two younger brothers. I had one who had worked for e-systems in aerospace industry. And my younger brother, youngest brother is in-- at the University of Georgia. Is head of the Office for Instructional Development at University of Georgia.

Zarbock: Tell me about your family. Was there an emphasis upon higher education? Did you always know you were going to go to college?

Jackson: My parents, neither of my parents had much education. Uh.. daddy could've kept a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, but he could not have sent us to college. So momma worked uh.. well, she retired at 62, by which time we were all through school. But the question never came up, "Are you going to college?" The question was, "Where are you going to college?" They never-- we never wondered if we could go to college. That was their- their aim was that we would be educated.

Hayes: But that's pretty amazing when you consider the level the three of you have gotten to out of a very small setting.

Jackson: Well, it's not unusual. A- a lot of the people in Clover have gone on to higher things.

Zarbock: Well, your high school preparation must've been very, very good.

Jackson: We had a good high school, yeah. And now Clover, well, Clover has the fair tax money out of the-- out of one of those nuclear power plants. So they've got all kinds of great things in Clover now. But I think we got a good education. And all three of us went to state schools. I went to a Baptist school the first two years. But my brothers went to University of South Carolina, and I went to Winthrop, which were at that time places that you could go without bankrupting your family. And our parents got us through without any of us owing anything. In fact, my youngest brother, that- that was his aim. He had two children, and his aim was to give them the same thing momma and daddy did us. To get them through school without a- a debt. I- I graduated from high school in Clover.

Hayes: And you're still loyal and faithful to Clover.

Jackson: Clover, we had uh.. a small class. We're a very close group of people. And you know, a little town, well, it's just special. Real special.

Hayes: Good. All right, so funny thing. Tell us, Helen Hagan you're mentioning, your listeners at this point don't realize what her role was. I mean, she was...

Jackson: Well, she had left Emory, uh.. and had come to- to uhm.. well, I guess it was, maybe was even Wilmington College when she came, as the librarian here.

Hayes: Was she really the first librarian?

Jackson: No, she wasn't the first one. We were still getting mail for the first librarian years after I came here. But I can't remember what her name was. Uh.. she probably was the first one who did a- a...

Hayes: Degree.

Jackson: Well, she's not the first one that had a degree, but the first one who had enough money to work with to really build a collection. She planned the first- the first part of the building here. Uh.. but she had come from Emory to be the librarian here.

Hayes: Interesting.

Jackson: It's a very small staff. Uh.. Betty Sue Westbrook was the cataloguer, and Sian Woo, who d-- who later married David Seran [ph?], uh.. was-- had-- came to work the same time I did. I came in 1967. And Mary Corcoran was working here. She had just come to work. In fact, she was already working somewhere else on campus, but her sister Linda was working in the library. At that time two people couldn't work in the same office, whatever. So she had to go somewhere else till Linda left, and I came to work. And we had a Ms. Cameron, who worked in cataloguing. And Catherine Walls took care of all the financial uh.. as part of the library. And I believe Ruth McLeod [ph?] was already Ms. Hagan's secretary, and that was the staff.

Hayes: That was it?

Jackson: That was it. We were in the back side of the uh.. of Alderman.

Hayes: Now I think this is interesting. So you were not yet in this particular facility that we're in.

Jackson: When I first came, I believe, either right after I came, or right before I came, they broke ground. Dug up the first shovel. This building, and I think the chemistry building at the same time. But uhm.. the back door to the library was- was the- the door that opens off the parking lot there between the Kenan Hall and Alderman, that was into the technical services area. We had a small library, uhm.. before we got out of that building, we had books stored. I'm sure that the building probably was a firetrap, 'cause we had books stored everywhere.

Zarbock: Roughly, as you remember what was the student population?

Jackson: I don't remember, Paul. Really don't. It was very small.

Hayes: 3,000 or 2,000 or something.

Jackson: I don't think it was that big, actually. It may have been.

Hayes: Were we a four-year school at that point?

Jackson: We were a four-year school, but we were still Wilmington College-- I think.

Hayes: Yeah.

Jackson: I'm- I'm not really real sure.

Hayes: And the president at that time was...

Jackson: Dr. Randall. And uh.. Dr. Reynolds was the dean. And of course, Dr. Randall was a librarian himself, so.

Hayes: Now that you mention that time period, there was uh.. B.D. Schwartz, and his wife's name was uhm...

Jackson: I can't remember what her name was, but...

Hayes: They had a huge campaign where in they could get books! Were those all here by that point? I mean...

Jackson: Oh, no, no, no. We had a very small library budget, which meant that anything like a run of books, an encyclopedia, was a big expense. So the Friends of the University Theater were Friends of the Library, and it was through their efforts that we were able to buy out a lot of the expensive books that we were able to buy there in the beginning. They were great Friends of the Library. And they worked really hard to- to build up the collection.

Hayes: And I think they encourage donations and the foundation collection came out of community donations. That was...

Jackson: The community- the community's always felt very close to the university. And I- I think the library's been a big part of that.

Hayes: Now when you came in, what specialty were they hoping that you were going to bring? What was your...

Jackson: Oh, I did inter-library loan, I did the serials, we were a depository library, did circulation, did reference. I was- I was the public service librarian. And we had no automation, so...

Hayes: She was the public service library. [laughs]

Jackson: I was the public service library. Oh, we had no automation. I mean, and you did inter-library loaning by guessing where somebody might be likely to have this. And we were pretty successful. I mean, we didn't have large inter-library loan requests, but we were able to track down most of the things we needed. Uhm.. apparently the students didn't have anyplace to go between class, and it was kind of party-time a good bit of the time in the library. During the day it was noisy as all get-out, because they would come in and gather around the tables.

Hayes: Sounds familiar. [laughs]

Jackson: Yeah, except you got more room to spread them out in. We had no room to spread them out in. So keeping them quiet was, uh, impossible.

Hayes: So did you actually then know Dr. Wagner? I mean, would he drop over? He himself was a scholar. I didn't know if he used the library.

Jackson: Dr. Randall, you mean?

Hayes: I mean Dr. Randall, I'm sorry.

Jackson: Oh yeah, and actually when he retired, he-- I think he was the first of the faculty who had an office in the laboratory. He was the first of the revolving door. But yet he was an average scholar. And he taught, I think, some students Arabic after...

Hayes: And German!

Jackson: And German. And he was a very interesting man. He had edited Library Quarterly at one time. He helped catalogue the Vatican Library. He was in military intelligence in World War II, so he was—

Hayes: Did he bring Helen, then? Is that a sense of how she ended up here?

Jackson: I really am not sure. She was already here at the time. She had already left Emory and was here by the time I- I knew that she...

Hayes: So you didn't have to go with a national search with 47 candidates and an interview of two days? [laughs]

Jackson: Never had to do that. No, I just came down and Dr. Reynolds talked to me and uh.. so to say they offered me the job, and so I take. And worked for her.

Hayes: That's great.

Jackson: And worked for her. I was very fond of Ms. Hagan.

Hayes: And those people that you mentioned, almost all of them stayed a very long time. I mean, there was a commitment to...

Jackson: Oh, yeah, Sion stayed until after she married David. She wasn't here very long after that, but Betty Sue retired, and Katherine retired, Ruth retired. Uh.. well, Ms. Cameron was working for governor [ph?].

Hayes: And Mary Corcoran...

Jackson: Mary stayed for years, yeah.

Hayes: Until disability.

Jackson: Uh.. so everybody was committed. We were a committed group of people.

Zarbock: When you moved here from Emory...

Jackson: I moved here from Winthrop.

Zarbock: Winthrop. When you moved here from Winthrop, the new south states were really beginning to explode in population, in construction, in urban development, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. What was Wilmington like? When you showed up as a young woman, brand new job, and here you are in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Jackson: We had a traffic light at Oleander Drive, a traffic light at Wrightsville Avenue, and a traffic light at Market Street. And it got kind of hard to get out of the campus and they- they said it was too close to Wrightsville Avenue to put another traffic light out here. So all of this growth has come since I've been here. It's all-- and it's all come this direction.

Zarbock: What about downtown Wilmington in those early days?

Jackson: Those early days, Belk's was downtown, Sears was-- well, no, Sears was already out there. Uh.. downtown was thriving. That's where you went to shop.

Hayes: Yeah, no shopping centers.

Jackson: It was just like every other town. It's all moved out. But uh...

Hayes: Where'd you live?

Jackson: Well, the- the only two apartment...houses, as far as I know in Wilmington was the Carolina apartments downtown, which is where I think Claude Howell is all those years. And Oleander Court, which is-- which later became condominiums. Ms. Hagan lived at Oleander Court, and I was lucky enough to get an- an apartment there. So I lived there for a few years, and then I moved in with Mildred Murdock's family. And Mildred was working in the library, too. So...

Hayes: Tell us about with a small staff like that, and a small number of faculty, who're the people you knew? Who were the characters?

Jackson: We knew everybody! We knew everybody. We had, what? We had uh.. Alderman, and Hinton, James, and Hoggard, and the gym. And maybe Kenan Hall. I'm not sure whether Kenan had reopened or not. Uhm.. lot of them taught their uh.. classes in Alderman. We all ran into each other all the time. Uh.. we just knew everybody.

Hayes: But who were some of those early folks?

Jackson: Well, Tom Mosley [ph?]. I don't know whether-- Tom had probably died before he...

Hayes: Yeah, I don't think was...

Jackson: He was- he was the Civil War and Russian historian. The big Civil War collection we got there is- is Tom Mosley's contribution. Tom had a dog named Rusty. And everywhere Tom went Rusty went. So no dogs came to the library, except Rusty. Tom came to the library every day. Rusty came right along with him. Gerald Sheehan came about the same time I did. Uh.. and of course Gerald-- libraries were a big thing with Gerald. For him and also for his students.

Hayes: He was in philosophy and religion.

Jackson: In philosophy and religion. Uhm.. Carol Ellis, if she wasn't here when I came, she came shortly after. Uh...

Hayes: She's in English.

Jackson: Mary Bellamy, and all those people...

Hayes: You did know Mary Bellamy?

Jackson: Yeah, all those people were members of uh.. Isaac Bear Society were already here. They all started down there in Isaac Bear down at the high school. Yeah, Mary was here. Uh.. Adrian Hearst.

Hayes: I don't know that name. What department was she?

Jackson: Adrian Hearst was in the biology department. And Hearst Avenue? Isn't there a Hearst Street out here?

Hayes: Yeah.

Jackson: That's...

Hayes: How about the two Adcock brothers? Did they arrive?

Jackson: They were here, Bill and Louis, yeah, yeah. They were both here. Uh.. Shannon Moreland.

Hayes: Now tell us about Bill, 'cause see we have no memory of-- Louis is still here, and is still an interesting character.

Jackson: Yeah, Bill was in the music department.

Hayes: Music.

Jackson: And I didn't know Bill as well as Louis. [Laughs] Bill didn't spend as much time in the library as Louis. But I think he was well- well-liked by the faculty. He and Louis were completely different.

Hayes: Yeah. Was Duncan Randall at that time?

Jackson: Yeah, Duncan was already here. Uh.. I guess he may have come when Dr. Randall did.

Hayes: I know he went back to school later to get that PhD. Yeah, yeah.

Jackson: But I don't remember that he came after I did, so I'm pretty sure he was _____________.

Hayes: Any favorites in that group that you loved working with? I know you served them all.

Jackson: Liked them. We were a real close group of people out here. I can't think of anybody I really didn't like. Although, we did have a little list of those we liked a little bit better than others. [Laughter] Well, I-- the department that I think stands out is the biology department. They- they uh.. they seemed to be an exceptionally nice group of people. They'd bring in nice people, and good people to work with. But I- I enjoyed working with everybody.

Hayes: How about B.F. Hall? Was he working at that point?

Jackson: As far- as far as I remember he was, but I don't remember. He uh.. I know, you know, his name is so well-known around here that I can't remember whether he was out here or not. But I think he must've been.

Hayes: Jim McGivern probably came later.

Jackson: He came later. Uh.. Jim McGowan came a little bit later. Uhm.. but...

Hayes: And who were some of the other biology ones? I don't particularly-- that's been a recent growth uh.. so big now, Paul, I think they're about 50 faculty.

Zarbock: Hm.

Jackson: I'm trying to think who else would-- names.

Hayes: Plyler probably came later.

Jackson: Ply-- no Plyler was here about the same time.

Hayes: Is that right? Dan Plyler. He's a biologist.

Jackson: Oh, the woman-- she was such a nice lady.

Hayes: Oh!

Jackson: The park's named for her.

Hayes: Crary!

Jackson: Not Crary. McCrary. McCrary, Ann McCrary. She was an extremely nice person to work with. She was their library representative for, I think for the serials maybe for a good while. And she was all- all of those people have been very nice. Well, everybody on campus has been. I enjoyed working particularly with Andy Jackson in psychology. Lee Jackson in psychology.

Hayes: You know, this is his last year as chair. He's just now stepping down as chair.

Jackson: He's gonna continue to teach.

Hayes: Still gonna continue, but uh...

Jackson: Yeah, most of the people who were here at that time are either retired, or doing phased retirement or something. That group of people are almost gone.

Hayes: Yeah. Well, they've all gotten...

Jackson: Yeah, they're the age to go, right. [Laughs] We're all the age to go.

Hayes: So what about when the building-- the big deal. Were you in on all that planning?

Jackson: No, the plans had already been drawn by the time I came here. But uh.. we would come over and see what was going on, until finally they got tired of it, and told us not to set foot back over here, I think, until the building was opened. And I think we'd come over and say, "Well, you know that doesn't look like my hall looks," and I think they got kinda tired of that. But uh.. of course, we were planning to move. That was one of the things we were planning. And I believe they broke ground in July of '67, and we moved in January of '69. We closed a couple of days. And faculty wives came in and helped us. That was one of the groups that helped. So we s- we took the boxes that the shelves came out of, and used those as our moving boxes. So one group of the library staff stayed over in the old building, and packed boxes. And the rest of us were over here to take them when they came and put them on the shelf.

Hayes: What'd they roll them on?

Jackson: Uh.. the uhm.. a grounds crew. Probably on trucks.

Hayes: On trucks?

Jackson: On trucks, right. And the students carried them over. I think Tom McCall's class was one that carried books over. And those kids were really proud of the fact that they'd helped move.

Hayes: Do you remember Jimmy Parker at all?

Jackson: Oh, yeah, I remember Jimmy Parker.

Hayes: He tells me every time about how he helped move the library over, and got a job here.

Jackson: Yeah, he did.

Hayes: We forget, I think, you know, it made a big difference, the student workers that you had. To them, it made a big difference.

Jackson: Yeah, Jimmy was one of our favorites. And there was a-- oh, what was his name? Another fellow who worked about that same time. Jimmy and this other fellow, a little bit older, more mature. But yeah, the students were proud, I think, of what they did to help the _____________, so we got the building opened back up in a couple of days.

Hayes: You had a beautiful facility at that point. It must've been just amazing for the community to come and see it, wasn't it? It was just as...

Jackson: And we had lots of room, you know. The shelves still had plenty of room on them.

Hayes: Had you started at that point to have to have like security systems and so forth?

Jackson: No, we had not started the security system. We did in that part of the building before we-- before the building was open. And I remember one time they had a Chinese delegation that came, for some reason, to town, and they came out and we were already putting those strips in the magazines, and they said, "Why in the world would you need to do this?" I guess over there they'd take care of you if you walked out with a magazine. But they were amazed that we had to have a security system. But uhm.. we uh.. when I came they were in the process of changing from Library of Congr-- from Dewey Decimal to the Library of Congress.

Hayes: Okay, well tell our listeners what that means.

Jackson: Well, Dewey Decimal library system is the one that most good libraries, most smaller libraries. Uh.. it- it's limited in that if you get very specific. The numbers get so long you can hardly put them on the spine of the book. Library of Congress has a much broader classification system, so most university libraries, larger libraries have gone to the Library of Congress. And somewhere along-- I don't think at the very beginning, but somewhere we got some sort of grant with Pembroke to get some money to do it. That was back in-- during the time when the federal government had money to pass around, and you could get grants to buy material. Well, mainly you could get grants to do other things, and then kind of divert to buying material. Those were the days that uh.. well, at first we didn't have money to buy serials, but we soon reached the point where a faculty member wanted a periodical and we could buy it. And that went on for some years. And then what I think everybody's called ever since the "serials problem" began, we had to start figuring ways to limit what we were buying. But those early days were great! When somebody said, "We want something," we said, "Fine, we'll just get it for you."

Hayes: Now when did you start to increase in staff size? Because the enrollment kept booming up. Did you just gradually start...

Jackson: We gradually increased, yeah. After we got over here we had-- well, Phil Smith came, and..

Hayes: I don't know who that is.

Jackson: Phil Smith was head of reference.

Hayes: Head of reference, okay.

Jackson: Our first, I think our first male librarian was Russell Pitts. He was here for a few years, and then he went to somewhere in Georgia. And we added uh.. additional people in technical services. Sue Cody, uh.. came in reference. Uh.. and we- and we've had a-- we've had somewhat of a turnover with librarians, but I think more so than maybe than with the support staff. But it's been a pretty stable staff the last few years. Very early years we did have some turnover. Particularly as men came, and then went on to responsible positions some other place. But then Ron, Ron Johnson came, and stayed a long time. And but staff just gradually grew. What is it now, about 40?

Hayes: 43.

Jackson: Yeah. Uh.. those in the early days, uhm.. I can remember times when we'd leave a student assistant at the desk, and go to New China and celebrate somebody's birthday, the whole staff just take off at lunchtime and go celebrate a birthday.

Hayes: That's great.

Jackson: But those-- and at that time, you know, we felt-- we all felt like we were close to everybody on campus. But it's- it's gotten, you know, as it continued to grow that more and more...

Hayes: Well, I think it had a small college feel really.

Jackson: It was a-- it did have a small college feel.

Hayes: And you got...

Jackson: And it had a community college feel to the people in town.

Hayes: Then it was their...

Jackson: It was their school, their school, uh huh. Has always been their school. I think they still feel that way, a lot of them.

Hayes: Even though two-thirds of our students aren't necessarily from Wilmington any longer.

Jackson: Well, I'm-- well, I think either we didn't have the dormitories when I first came on, or they had only one. So most of the students were commuting students. Uhm...

Hayes: Right, but would they be full-time, though? Still full-time.

Jackson: Most of them, I think, were full-time. You didn't have so many of the uh.. non-traditional students then. Most of them were- were full-time students. The best, uh.. the ones that I saw were.

Hayes: Helen Hagan, then, was really your mentor through this period.

Jackson: She was. And she's-- I-- she left some time in the '70s. Uh.. and uhm...

Hayes: Did she retire at that point?

Jackson: She retired. She went home-- her home was in Savannah, Georgia. And her mother, she felt that her mother needed her at home. So she went home. Her mother lived just a very short time after she went back to Savannah.

Hayes: And what do you think her greatest contribution then was as a librarian?

Jackson: Oh, I think the building, the uh.. Ms. Hagan was a- I think she was a great public relations person. She had a- a good uh.. connection with the community. Uhm.. she was just a-- I thought a very great-- she was a very great person.

Hayes: That's good.

Zarbock: Is there an incident, or a series of incidents that sticks out in your mind, that you observed Ms. Hagan say or do? Anything that you think, "I'll never forget the time that..."?

Jackson: Not really. Nothing specific. It was just the day-to-day interaction with her.

Hayes: Now I'm surprised they were able to capture her, because you know, a teacher at a library school is quite a...

Jackson: No she may have just-- she had been a library director before she went to library school to teach. She had been at Coker [ph?], I believe, in uh.. was that in Darlington? Somewhere down in South Carolina, before she went to Emory. And I- I really don't know why she decided to come.

Hayes: Well, it may have been to build something, too.

Jackson: It could have been. She was just kind of burned out teaching, too.

Hayes: But look at the exciting growth that you folks have.

Jackson: She was- she was-- the college was at that point where it was gonna be a -a big growth time.

Hayes: Collections went up. You said the journals started to go up.

Jackson: That's right, yeah.

Hayes: Business-- people-- the kids came in by droves, I assume.

Jackson: Well, the college wasn't growing that fast at that time. I think the rapid growth really has come later than Ms. Hagan's years. But you know, building the building was exciting. Uh...

Hayes: When did, uh, kind of the whole technology era start then for you in the library?

Jackson: Well, actually I was involved in the technology parts as far as- as automating the serials. And that came sometime in the '80s, I think. Uh.. we were with Faxon [ph?] at the time, and we automated the check-in system, and then that allowed us to get a printout from them, and by Hogan's. At that point they weren't in the catalogue. And then uh.. we automated the bindery process with uh.. and I can't remember whether that was with Rosica [ph?] or Gettin [ph?]. 'Cause we switched back and forth between those two binders three or four times. Uhm.. I wasn't really that involved with-- as far as- as the catalogue was concerned, except just using it. And then, of course, we had a lot of complaints from people who wanted the old card catalogue.

Hayes: Did you really?

Jackson: Oh! Oh, yeah...

Hayes: That was a tough transition?

Jackson: Oh, yeah, we kept the card catalogue out there. As I'm sure a lot of people did. With the understanding that uh.. everything's not in there anymore. But sometimes its easier to browse through those cards than it is to browse through a computer.

Hayes: I agree.

Jackson: And people were very unhappy when we finally got rid of it. But uh.. yeah, automation has not gone over well with everybody.

Hayes: Well, I know with CLC, were we an early participant? I would guess we were.

Jackson: Well, this was in the '60s. We started in the '60s. Uhm.. and of course, we had a very small collection at that time. I think we had about 50,000 volumes when we moved over here. And so we weren't like Duke, who started late and had millions of volumes to have to convert. So it didn't take all that long to convert. And we were able to hire uhm.. an extra person to do the-- to work with the conversion, because of that grant we had with Pembroke. Government paid for it.

Hayes: So that's interesting that the relationship with Pembroke goes way back. Uh.. Fayetteville is now a partner, too. Is that a more recent uh...

Jackson: Well, I think what happened back then, Sherman, was that the government was encouraging colleges to unite with the m-- colleges that were minority schools. And Pembroke was an Indian school. And Fayetteville was a n-- a traditionally black college. So there was a lot of merging there in those early years, particularly Pembroke. Because the government was encouraging that you do that kind of uh.. merging. And so we- we both got money to do the reclassification.

Hayes: You're a public service librarian. What-- in those early years, what was the clientele? Undergrad papers, I mean, the traditional things that people were doing?

Jackson: Mainly. Mainly undergraduate papers. And we didn't really see, I don't think, as much of the community people coming out here as we do now. Or we did before I retired. Uh.. we did some inter-library loans for the faculty who were doing research, but not as much. Th- that just grew as the faculty grew. But mainly the undergraduate students.

Hayes: And when you said the dean was, you mentioned who the dean was initially, what was his name again?

Jackson: Reynolds.

Hayes: Reynolds. And is that in the same sense that they had just one dean, he was the academic person?

Jackson: That's right. Uh.. that was before the merger of the campuses with the uh.. instead of having a chancellor, and a vice-chancellor, we had our own president here. That merger came later. And we became part of the University of North Carolina...

Hayes: System.

Jackson: System, yeah. And that was a big time for us.

Hayes: Yeah, what was that like then at that point? Was that a big deal?

Jackson: Well, I remember somebody calling one day and saying did we have this particular item, and we said, "No," and they said, "Well, they have it at NC State, and now you're part of the system, so you're supposed to have what everybody else has!" That was a part of the expectation of people out there in the community. Some people, some people that didn't think very _____________. [Laughter] But uh.. I don't-- it didn't really make much of a-- it was more of a change of name. Change of the name of- of the officials in the university than it was anything else as far as we were concerned. We weren't getting any extra money out of them as far as I know.

Hayes: Now Wagner, then, came fairly early in your time period. Was that like an open search process, or was that just arrived one day?

Jackson: I suppose-- in my recollections, he arrived one day. I don't remember any search process. [Laughter] We were not all that involved in search processes back then anyway. It wasn't this great involvement of the whole campus when anything happened. So, and of course, he was from Wilmington. He was in the-- I believe he was the superintendent of the schools here. And so he was already here, and I don't think anybody had to go through those great search processes back at that time for any position. So. [Laughter]

Hayes: Well, we're glad they didn't.

Jackson: That didn't happen till later.

Hayes: Yeah, yeah.

Jackson: In fact, I don't remember who the first person we hired that we had to go through that process with.

Hayes: Is that right? And did you meet him over time? I mean, work with him?

Jackson: Dr. Wagner?

Hayes: Yeah, I mean, what was he like? I mean, I just-- I don't know, I didn't meet him myself.

Jackson: Well, he- he was not that involved with the library in terms of being in and out. We were out of the administration building as we had been earlier. We weren't running into everybody all the time. Uh.. I think he was very supportive of the library. And the college grew. Uh.. majors were added, programs were added. Uh...

Hayes: And would you get more money hopefully to do that? If you got more and more and more, how could you keep...

Jackson: Well, I think one- one misconception that people had was that you-- that the state gave us a new program, therefore they gave us more money. And it didn't work that way. [Laughter]

Hayes: Woops.

Jackson: Yeah, woops! And so a new program would be added, and then the people that added the new program would assume we were going to be able to add all this new stuff, [laughs] and- and the money just didn't quite come down that way. So we had to keep trying to find ways to take care of these new programs without uh.. cutting into the programs that already existed. And- and particularly with the serials, that became a- a nightmare. Yeah, that became early on. And not just here, everywhere uh.. with the rising cost of serials with this publish or perish uh.. emphasis as far as, particularly, I think in sciences, as far as journals are concerned. Uhm.. the uh.. cost of serials going up so much faster than- than anything else. And uh.. so we along with everybody else hit that problem, where it's not adding, it's what can you take out?

So we started by trying to get the departments to limit themselves. Uhm.. well, we-- when I first came here we just had a- a list of serials. And- and the accrediting agency would say we've got to accredit the chemistry department, "How much did you spend for serials for the past five years?" So you got to sit down with the invoices for the past five years, and go through and figure out how much we spent for the chemistry department. So we decided, "We can't do this over and over again." So we came up with a list for every department and gave it to them and said, "This is what we think your serials are. Do you agree?" And they agreed. So then we- we kept records by department, so that when they said five years, we could pull out five years and give it to them.

So and as we saw that we had to start limiting serials, each department was getting an allocation, and we said, "You've got to carry the cost of your serials for three years before they go into the general serials pot." And no more than-- well, first of all we just said you had to carry them for three years. Fine. "We just uh.. used all our money for serials for three years, then they'll go in the pot and we can start over again." We said, "Well, that's not gonna work." So- so then we said, "No more than a set amount of your budget can be in serials at any given time before, you know, they're in the pot." So I think trying to juggle the need for serials with the amount of money that's available to pay for them, it's more like a big...

Hayes: So you're saying for 25 years you've been doing that?

Jackson: 25, well, for 32.

Hayes: 32, journals, journals, journals were always...

Jackson: Well, I wasn't even with serials all that time. I'm in-- in the end I was just reference librarian. But it was that constant juggling of- of uh.. how we're gonna-- how are we gonna supply what people need, and that-- you have just so much money to do it with, how are we gonna stay within that- that amount of money and make everybody happy? Which, of course, is impossible.

Hayes: One of the comments that someone said to me was that when you did go with uh.. automation, circulation, everything, that there was a gen- generation of library clerks that just said, "That's enough," and- and left. Is that a fair statement? In other words that they kind of got to their point, and said, "I don't want to mess with this..."

Jackson: I don't know that. I don't- I don't know who they were.

Hayes: Yeah, I just, I mean, that's a pretty big change to go to circulated systems.

Jackson: Well, yeah, well, the public library at home, our little public library in Clover, were switching from one circulation sys- system to another when I was home a couple weeks ago, and they were pulling their hair out trying to figure out how we're going from uh.. well, I think a lot of it they were still doing manually. How're we going to go from that to completely automated? And uhm.. but it's exciting. I think some people really saw it as an exciting time, as well as those that, I guess, did say "enough" and left.

Hayes: Well, now for those that don't know you, we know you as the penultimate reference librarian. When did that start to become your main assignment?

Jackson: Well, there was a period of time there when I wasn't working reference, I was just working serials, but I came as a reference librarian, I left as a reference librarian. I always saw myself as a reference librarian.

Hayes: You left as the head reference librarian. I think that's-- I mean, not just the reference librarian, but the head of the department.

Jackson: Well, I- I just saw myself as a reference librarian. That was what I loved to do. I loved-- I liked working with people. And I loved the hunt! Loved the hunt!

Hayes: Well, tell us about that. What is a reference librarian?

Jackson: Well, the reference librarian is one who attempts to satisfy the uh.. informational needs of a broad group of people.

Hayes: Whoever comes.

Jackson: Whoever comes, whether it's an eight-year-old child, or an 80-year-old retired person, who just wants to look up their genealogy. Whatever their needs are. Uh.. and- and I understand that in a place like this, there do have to be some priorities, because there are people who're paying tuition. But I- I never felt comfortable. I- I would not have felt comfortable having to limit service to anybody.

Hayes: And I think that you kept that tradition going because we haven't limited service.

Jackson: I hope we never will.

Hayes: And one of the things I think it's interesting, you talked about the list of some faculty and so forth. For the record, Louise always said, "You come to that desk, you deserve quality help." After you leave... [laughs], we might say something. But it-- but uh.. but you- you deserve quality help.

Jackson: Every- every, uh.. every person: student, faculty, whoever, person off the street, they all deserve whatever help you could give them.

Zarbock: Can you recount an incident or a situation that still sticks in your memory, of somebody that came up and-- or people came up, and asked for particular information, and you thought, "I've never heard anything so crazy in all my life!" Or, "so funny in all my life!"

Jackson: Well, I can remember one night somebody called on the telephone, and i-- it was an adult, it was not a child. And they asked, "Where is the Mason Dixon line?" And I told them where the Mason Dixon line was, and they said, "Are we above or below the Mason Dixon line?" [Laughs] That was about the funniest... [Laughter] It's kind of hard to answer questions like that with a straight face. Good thing you're on the telephone when that happens. [Laughter]

Hayes: So they don't see you.

Jackson: Oh, that's right, that's right. But uhm...

Hayes: Now one of the things for much of your career was centered around a great reference collection. And I know you did a lot of that selection. What went into that? What were you looking for?

Jackson: Actually I suspect that I did more of the serials, building the serials collection than the reference collection.

Hayes: Is that right?

Jackson: Uhm.. I- I did a lot of uh.. choosing of reference books. But I really felt closer to the serials collection.

Hayes: Interesting.

Jackson: I spent a lot of time with the faculty determining what we were going to subscribe to, what we were gonna try to get back runs of and try to find the way to get those back runs the cheapest way possible, so that we could...

Hayes: You might tell us what you mean by that, because if you're starting a subscription, that's not just all that matters, right?

Jackson: That's right. Well, it depends on what the subscription is, but in for-- in most cases, a person who-- a- a faculty member who requested a subscription would also be interested in the- the years that have already passed in that publication. And balancing off, whether buying microfilm-- uh.. now of course, you've got the computer route. But get it in paper, get it on microfilm.

Hayes: So you want to put on record that you're responsible for most of this microfilm that we have here?

Jackson: Yeah.

Hayes: [Laughs]

Jackson: I'm responsible for the microfilm. [Laughter] I take credit-- I take credit for the microfilm. And for years...

Hayes: It saved us!

Jackson: That's right. It saves space.

Hayes: Well, I think people don't understand that you-- these aren't readily available. You need a 150-year run of uh.. a basic journal.

Jackson: Right, and it's not going to be available on the computer necessarily.

Hayes: Well, they weren't even there on the computer.

Jackson: No, they weren't there then.

Hayes: And you couldn't get a paper copy or it would be so expensive.

Jackson: So expensive, and also then you have to find someplace to put it on the shelf. And that- that soon became uh.. evident that that was going to be a problem, too. Uh.. where you gonna store this stuff?

Hayes: But you yourself said you had a great interest in history, and I think we've had that here for a long time. You were instrumental in a lot of the back microfilm that was very much about local history, right? Without microfilm where would we be?

Jackson: You had the newspapers, and uh.. we tried to do what we could with- with providing information as far as the local area was concerned. Of course, after you came that became a- a big emphasis again.

Hayes: Again. But we build on a foundation that you had to go out and get. And it's pretty predictable, I think, that a smaller college, local issues are popular. I mean.

Jackson: We've had-- oh, the public library has a good lo- uh.. local history collection pages. And I think we sort of co- complemented each other with the two collections. But uh...

Hayes: I'm gonna do a sidebar just for interest. I know you've had a fascinating interest of genealogy for a long, long time. Are you still doing that?

Jackson: Oh, yeah. You never-- once you get bitten by that bug, [laughs] you don't get over it.

Hayes: Well, when you talked about "the hunt," that sounds like the ultimate hunt. Is uh...

Jackson: That is the ultimate hunt. Uh.. Ms. McCatherine [ph?] was the genealogist here in town, and she died sometime in the '80s. And I remember her saying that she wished her-- one of her great grandfathers had been hanged as a horse thief, because at least she would have found him in the records somewhere. And she- she hoped someday to find out where he was, and I hope she did. [Laughs]

Zarbock: But please don't let us dangle. How far back have you gone in your genealogy?

Jackson: Well, the people, the one's lines that I know, the furtherest back somebody else had already done, my own Jackson line, uhm.. back to the immigrant, uh.. but working on what other people had already done. Most of mine I can take back to the point where they came to the United States, and most of them came before the Revolution.

Hayes: And where were they coming from, what part?

Jackson: Uh.. England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. Uh.. Switzerland.

Hayes: So they came fairly early and settled in South Carolina?

Jackson: Settled around York County and Cleveland and Gaston County, North Carolina. Most of them were in that area by the Revolution.

Hayes: By the Revolution.

Jackson: Most of mine _________.

Zarbock: What lured them there?

Jackson: Land. Land.

Zarbock: Tillable land.

Jackson: And land you could own.

Hayes: Now how about when you go back and-- are the records good enough that you can get back into England and so forth?

Jackson: I hadn't really tried much for that, Sherman. Someday I hope to be able to go to Ireland. Uh.. Clover has twinned with a town in uh.. County Antrim, Laren, which is a little seaport town, and there- there's been a good deal of interaction between the two places, and- and the thought is that the people from that area came from Laren, the ones who came from Ireland. And the Jacksons did come from Ireland. Other lines-- most of my lines came from...

Hayes: And was the name Jackson at the point, or had it changed?

Jackson: Uhm hm, Jackson, yeah.

Hayes: Jackson. Interesting.

Jackson: Not much you can do with Jackson. Now some of the others, yeah, but not Jackson.

Hayes: Particularly if you're a Russian or a German, right? Zarbock, did that come over okay as Zarbock?

Zarbock: Uhm hm, although there's several variations of the spelling. And the original spelling did not contain the letter Z.

Jackson: Well, one of my lines is Whisonant. And that is not the original spelling of that.

Hayes: How do you spell it?

Jackson: Well, they spell it a lot of different ways over there even now. Uhm.. my line, W-H-I-S-O-N-A-N-T. But it's W-H-I-S-E-N-A-N-T. And it started out with a Z, or a V. Visonant.

Hayes: French, then maybe?

Jackson: Well, no, they came actually from Switzerland. They were from the Germanic area of Switzerland to start with. They've been traced back-- someone else has traced them back to the area.

Zarbock: I didn't know until the other day that Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh never spelt his name Raleigh the same way.

Hayes: Is that right? We changed that?

Zarbock: All sorts of spellings.

Jackson: Well, I- I-- and the- and the-- when you look at the early records, you know, in the same document a name may be spelled a half a dozen different ways. Right!

Hayes: And do you think that the genealogy kind of parallel course made you a better reference librarian?

Jackson: Oh, yeah. I think uh.. I think anything you do in which you are hunting information, uh.. makes you a better reference librarian. Yeah. Uh.. it's- it's pretty much the same method whatever you're doing.

Zarbock: But it really is a hunt.

Jackson: It is a hunt! It is a hunt. It's like working a- a jigsaw puzzle, but you gotta find the pieces.

Hayes: You got to find the pieces, then put them together!

Jackson: Find the pieces and put them together. And the same thing is true with reference, I think.

Hayes: Now what about as you, you know, in the last four and five years of your career, the computer became the primary hunting tool. How did you feel about that? I mean, were you happy with that?

Jackson: Well, I- I think the computer is fine, as long as you don't forget that the print is there, too. I mean, if you want to find who lives at a certain address in Wilmington, the place is not to go to the computer, it's to go over there and pick up a city directory and look. Uhm.. I remember Celeste- uh.. Celeste Millen [ph?], had read in a uh.. somebody's commencement address, it was a couple years ago. Uh.. the something, the statement, uh.. "Why should you spend 30 minutes-- why should you spend five minutes looking for something in a book, when you can spend 30 minutes looking for it in the computer?" [Laughter] Sometimes that's the way it is. [Laughter] If you know- if you know the book collection, it's a h-- sometimes-- many times a whole lot easier to walk over there and pull it off the shelf. But you then get tempted to think that the computer is the way to go. Uh.. and I've been amazed, really amazed at what you can find on the computer. I'll have to admit to that. That's uh.. when I came back to work those couple hours a day, faculty members who would ask for something, and I thought, "Well, I'm gonna look for it this way." Like verifying a reference. I'm gonna try the computer first. And sure enough it popped right up.

Hayes: Well, I think that one of the challenges for our field is to keep the young librarians remember what are still the best book sources. Because like you say the temptation is to begin to believe that...

Jackson: That the computer is everything.

Hayes: That the computer is everything. But there's so much on the computer, that never was in a book!

Jackson: That's right.

Hayes: You know, what we call grey literature, or local things that you tried to find, it was never anywhere, was it? I mean, [laughs]...

Jackson: And also, well, either a book or computer, you've got to weigh the source and determine whether it's really an accurate source or not. And I think that's particularly true with computer, where everybody can put up anything they want to.

Hayes: That's right. We're finding that it's a real problem, the students begin to believe that the Web, by being there, is authoritative. And the librarian has always tried to answer that question, "Is this good?"

Jackson: Is it? Yeah. And one thing that would really amaze me in those last years, is the student who stands there in front of you with a book in hand, and says, "Where can I find this on the computer?" I mean, you got it! You're standing there with it in hand. [Laughter]

Hayes: That the computer was the only valid area, you mean, in other words.

Jackson: Either that or you can punch a button and print it off the computer, and if I don't do that, I gotta walk back to the copy machine. I mean, it's one of the other. But uh.. but somehow they've got the idea that- that if it's in the computer, it's more valid, than if it's on a page.

Hayes: Now what about teaching? I mean, did you see yourself, as a reference librarian, as a teacher? I mean, you started as a teacher. Did you continue to be a teacher then?

Jackson: Well, I- I think, I don't know that I really saw myself as a teacher. I saw myself as supplementing what the teaching faculty were doing. Uh...

Hayes: But each of those encounters was an opportunity!

Jackson: Teaching-- an opportunity to teach somebody to do this for yourself.

Hayes: What we call a "teaching moment."

Jackson: That's right, teach them to do it for themselves.

Hayes: Now did you do much of our formal instructional programs yourself, or was that not an area that you...

Jackson: Well, at the very beginning we all did. And it- it was quite a chore, because each English class, you had three sessions with each English class. And they were bored silly most of the time, because it-- particularly if they didn't have papers assigned, or didn't know that this was something that you're gonna have to do. And so spring semester was some wild headache. [Laughs] In more recent years, I uh.. where we-- I was working with uh.. classes when you were teaching something specific. Uh.. one class I particularly enjoyed doing was Bob Brown's psychology class.

Hayes: Was that more of a history, or just straight?

Jackson: No, you just- straight psych lit, and that was before the computer. But Bob was always there and he uhm.. he would ask questions and interject things, and- and do it in a- in a very nice positive way. And I always enjoyed doing his classes. That- that specific type of thing.

Hayes: No, you mentioned-- I'm sorry to jump back to-- but you mentioned Claude Howell, did you work with him over that time? Of course he was in the art department. So uh...

Jackson: We came in contact with Claude. But not working that close.

Hayes: 'Cause he was kind of like a librarian at heart, I think, with that huge clipping service that he gave us. And he collected everything. I just wondered if he actually used us that much, but not...

Jackson: Uh.. no, I don't think Claude used the library.

Hayes: I think he created his own library maybe. That was...[laughs] Now what about Charles Cahill, did he not come in in your time period then?

Jackson: Yeah, he came-- he- he became what's vice-chancellor. And Michael Wagner came.

Hayes: Yeah. In fact, why- why don't we take a break for just a minute. Is that all right? 'Cause I want to check... [audio break]

Hayes: Okay, we're with the second tape with Louise Jackson on April 14th, here at William Madison Randall Library. And- and there's lots of things we want to keep going on. But I thought I'd give you a chance to comment. You've had a career over just a really shifting time in libraries. Just comment on that. From when you started to when you left, and what were some of those big issues that came and went, or are still here, or whatever. I mean, just from a philosophical sense about libraries. How is it different?

Jackson: Well, there's so much more available than there was when I began.

Hayes: Information.

Jackson: Well, uh.. an information boom. Uh.. more accessible. Uh.. information I'm sure was out there in many cases, but- but we couldn't get our hands on it. It was at Chapel Hill or Duke or some other place. Uh.. much more accessible. Uhm.. students should be able to do much better papers now than they could uh.. in years past because they can get their hands on so much more, more information. Uh.. it uh.. it was-- is an increasing challenge to try to pay for all this information! [Laughs] Uh.. it's there, they know it's there, they want it supplied. But at what cost? And uh...

Hayes: Did you see a marked shift from a reading generation to a TV generation? Can you comment on that at all? Did you see that change? We've heard that. That the students don't...

Jackson: Don't read.

Hayes: Don't read as much. They aren't as book oriented.

Jackson: I really don't know in terms of the college students. I think that may be true of people in general. Uhm.. my own experience in an experience with, not having children of my own, I can't speak to that from my own experience. But talking to other people, I know that children today don't seem to read as much as they did when I was growing up. They don't uh.., and to me that's a- a shame that they don't have, that they don't use their imaginations like they did when we were growing up. Uhm.. radio was even better than television in terms of encouraging imagination. Uhm.. I think children, you don't learn to live by sitting in front of a television set, or sitting with a- a Game Boy in your hand. You learn to live by playing, and by reading the experiences of other people as they lived. And I uh.. I do worry somewhat about the fact that we have become that kind of generation. But I'm hooked to TV, too, so.

Hayes: [Laughs] And with your genealogy, I'm sure the computer has started to creep into that.

Jackson: Oh, yeah, well, in fact, I've got two now.

Hayes: Oh, do you really? Oh, now see?

Jackson: I wanted to hook into the Internet, and my computer, the guy kept telling me it couldn't hook in, and I said, "Oh, heck! I'll just go out and get me another computer."

Hayes: Well, one of the things you commented on, I think, I will just highlight again, we don't need to repeat, but that journal, explosion of journals and the cost is a big thing. Uh.. size. Did you see as we got bigger and bigger and bigger, what did you feel about UNCW? I mean, what was uh...

Jackson: Well, uh.. just this- this great growth, but with that growth, we lost the closeness that we had in the early years. Uh.. we knew everybody in the beginning. We knew the faculty, we knew the- the campus support staff. Everybody knew everybody. And now uh.. before I left there were people who were leaving who'd been here for years that I'd never heard of before. And I think that's sad that-- but it-- that happens as growth, it has to happen. Uh.. there were students-- I think it was easier to know the students, a larger portion of the students. There was still a few that you could know intimately, because they were in the library over and over and over again. But in those early years we saw them all the time. In and out all the time. And uh...

Hayes: So community. I think that that's a really good point. It isn't that people don't want to have it, it's just size is a real enemy.

Jackson: That's right. And faculty now are-- well, we were in the Alderman days, and so many of the faculty were in Alderman. We were all there together. Now they're scattered all over campus, and they-- there're other ways to get information besides coming to the library, so you may never. And if- if they come, if-- unless they come to the desk where you're working, you never see them.

Hayes: Well, in some respective, when you came, you mentioned the building. You were in Alderman, and there was James, Hoggard was up, right?

Jackson: That's right. The three of them.

Hayes: Probably Kenan, the small Kenan Hall.

Jackson: I believe that was.

Hayes: But not Kenan Auditorium.

Jackson: Oh, no! And the gym.

Hayes: And the gym. And then you added the next big building was...

Jackson: The library and the chemistry building, I think.

Hayes: But then West Side came along.

Jackson: That came later.

Hayes: King.

Jackson: King. All the dormitories.

Hayes: All the dormitories.

Jackson: The uh.. Morton Hall.

Hayes: Union.

Jackson: The biology building, whatever that one's called. Uhm...

Hayes: Dobo is the new biology.

Jackson: No, it's not-- well, the old biology building.

Hayes: Oh, uh.. you mean...

Jackson: I can't think of the name.

Hayes: Friday Hall.

Jackson: Friday Hall. Uh.. the social sciences building, the business building. The Coliseum. Uh.. there's just gigantic growth. Well, when we- when we had graduation we had graduation in the gym. And we all wore those heavy robes, not those light things that they rent now. [Laughter] In June! And one year David Brinkley got a honorary degree. So you know, everybody had to come see David Brinkley, and we were packed in like sardines. It was hot! Now they're nice air-conditioned...

Hayes: This is not Trask Auditorium. This is the gym. Okay.

Jackson: Then we went to outside graduations for a few years.

Hayes: Oh, did they? How did those work? Good?

Jackson: Well, as long as the weather cooperated. [Laughs] And as far as I remember it always did. Of course, you- you run that risk of the day of graduation you got to move inside somewhere. Then they were in uh.. I believe they were in uh.. Kenan Auditorium for a while, but that was air-conditioned. And now the Coliseum. So and you know one graduation a year, and there was plenty of room for the graduates. And now what you got? Two? Three?

Hayes: We have two in May. And then we have the off-season one in January. So uh...

Jackson: And you went to graduation and looked at the list of students and- and you knew the-- you knew these people who were graduating. You had worked with them. I still run into people that I worked with those early years. Uhm.. Jimmy Stacious.

Hayes: Oh, Jim Stacious! Oh, that's right!

Jackson: He was-- he lived in the library when he was a student.

Hayes: He's still and he's still a very big supporter. I saw him less than two weeks ago.

Jackson: So in those early years you really-- there were-- you really got closer. There were fewer people, but you got closer to the ones that...

Hayes: As the librarian, so you really new some of the students pretty well then. Yeah. See, I think we've lost almost all of that, as far as individual...

Jackson: Oh, yeah. Knew them by name. Uh.. and...

Hayes: And workers. How many workers would you have here? Still quite a few that were student workers? I mean.

Jackson: Yeah, we had a pretty good-- well, that increased over the years, too. In the beginning, had students shelving books. That was, I think, probably about all we had students doing in the very beginning. But uh...

Hayes: So we talked serials, we talked about maybe change in students' emphasis between reading and so forth. And...

Jackson: And of course the big thing was the doubling the building size.

Hayes: Oh, you were here for that! That's right! Let's talk about that. That was in the mid-'80s, right?

Jackson: Uhm hm.

Hayes: Now as we went along, Ms. Hagan retired. And who was the next uh...

Jackson: Linux Cooper.

Hayes: Cooper.

Jackson: Cooper, Linux Cooper. His father was uhm.. chair-- he was on the board of trustees for a while. What was his name?

Hayes: He was...

Jackson: Very important in the beginning years of the library.

Hayes: And how long was he here, Cooper?

Jackson: He was here three years.

Hayes: All right.

Jackson: And then he left and worked in his father's insurance company, to take over his father's insurance company. Then Phil Smith was the acting librarian for one year. And then Gene Huguelet came.

Hayes: And Gene was here for...

Jackson: A long time.

Hayes: 17 years I think, right?

Jackson: And then you came.

Hayes: Well, Sue Cody was acting...

Jackson: Was acting librarian. Yes, I forgot.

Hayes: And I've been here for almost seven. So uh.. you've seen an awful lot of managers in that time. I mean, that...

Jackson: But Gene was here when we doubled the building, the size of the building. And uh.. they put up a wall-- they built another side, put a wall, we moved into the new side, and then moved back into the old side, so we actually had two moves.

Hayes: Did they come back in and remodel, you mean, on the old side?

Jackson: They came back in and remodeled the old side.

Hayes: What was that gap? How long did that take?

Jackson: I can't remember.

Hayes: Months or years?

Jackson: Months, months. So we had to move everything to the other side. And then when we got ready to move back, we had two or three crews, we hired this time. When we moved from the other building, we carried the books over. This time we hired somebody to come and make both of the moves. But to move the serials, we had-- it was two or three crews moving at the same time, so we had to know where every book was going to go on the shelf in the new part of the building. So before we got ready to move, I took plans and plotted out where every periodical was going to sit. And held my breath. [Laughter] Because if they hadn't met in the middle. But uh.. just-- and these people hired students to come in and-- I think it was over maybe Christmas holidays or something that we did that final move. But we knew we were working for a good period of time with just that temporary wall between the two buildings.

Hayes: Could you hear back and forth the construction and everything?

Jackson: Not a whole lot. Well, what we really could hear was when they jack-knife-- uh.. jack-hammered the porch off. I mean that-- the back porch off to connect the two buildings. But uh...

Hayes: And what about the reorientation of the door to the front? I mean, that had to be very...

Jackson: You know we still had for a long time people coming to the other door to come in. [Laughter] 'Cause we just completely turned it around, because the center of campus had moved.

Hayes: Yeah.

Jackson: We were opening on the center of campus, and it had moved to the other side, so we moved to the other side.

Hayes: And the ponds were added in your time. And that changed everything.

Jackson: Yeah, uh huh. And uh.. but and then the se-- our- our initial security system was having people sitting at the door. [Laughter]

Hayes: Checking.

Jackson: Checking. Hig Higgins [ph?], and uh.. Anne Devault [ph?] worked during the day, and then we had students at night who checked everybody who went out the door to be sure they weren't walking out with something. And then we put in the automated system to try to catch people at the door.

Hayes: In all these years you worked nights and weekends.

Jackson: That's right.

Hayes: You didn't mind?

Jackson: No.

Hayes: Just thought it was part of the...

Jackson: Well, actually, I was working less weekends when I came here than I was when I was at Winthrop.

Hayes: Oh, okay.

Jackson: So, [laughs] it was just cut-off some of that time. No, I never minded working nights and weekends. And uhm...

Hayes: Now did you get pulled into some of the committee work and all of that later on? I mean, I know early on there weren't as many committees. But were, did you...

Jackson: I was not all that much involved in the committee work. Committee work was not high on my long list of things that I really-- I much preferred being out there talking to people.

Hayes: Working that desk!

Jackson: Working that desk. Working that desk was my thing.

Hayes: And the phones.

Jackson: And the phones.

Hayes: 'Cause the phone-in service is a big- is a big part of the service. Right? And has been forever I would think.

Jackson: Yes, it has been for a long time. Uh...

Hayes: And when you did come back, I'll say for the record, you had no trouble continuing to use the computer as a search tool. It didn't drop off any.

Jackson: Well, it changed.

Hayes: Yeah, it changed.

Jackson: But if you stay gone two days I think you come back, it would've changed.

Hayes: That's right. [Laughs]

Jackson: Uh...

Hayes: I think the attitude you have to bring is you gotta keep trying because it changes so much.

Jackson: Uh.. well, these uh.. I think the uh.. well, what you subscribe to, those services, they make the changes. There's nothing you can do about a lot of that change.

Hayes: That's right. That's a good point.

Jackson: You- you don't control it. They control it.

Hayes: That's right.

Jackson: And sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not quite so good as it was before. But-- and but now like I say when we first went to the catalogue so many people still wanted to go to the card catalogue. The same thing happened as changes occurred with the computer. People complained that, "I learned to do it this way, and now I've come back and it doesn't work that way anymore."

Hayes: If you leave for five years and come back, it's a different library.

Jackson: It's a different world, yeah.

Hayes: It's a really different library.

Jackson: And of course, now they can do so much from home, so, they don't-- as long as you got a computer, you can see a thing.

Hayes: Why don't we end with a sense of how do you feel about UNCW? I mean, in your experience.

Jackson: I love UNCW. I spent half my life at UNCW. Uhm.. it's been my home. I- I feel very close to the people here. I felt very- I felt very close to Ms. Hagan in the begin-- to begin with. I continued to visit Ms. Hagan after she went to...

Hayes: Oh, good! Good!

Jackson: We made a trip to Disneyworld one year after- after she retired. And I visited down in her home several times. So I- I can't-- and I felt very close to the staff. My friends in Wilmington have been people from the library and people from my church. That's been basically my connections in Wilmington. I- I feel very close to UNCW. Uhm.. what little bit of financial support I can give to the university comes here to Seahawk.

Hayes: And I think the state retirement system is doing okay for you.

Jackson: Oh, it's been great.

Hayes: Because you stayed long enough. I mean some people jump around and uh.. you invested in that system, and...

Jackson: I feel very fortunate to have that retirement. Very fortunate. It's uh...

Hayes: And sometime you'll start to collect social security, right?

Jackson: Yeah. [Laughs] With, yes, sometime.

Hayes: [Laughter]

Jackson: I'm on a Medicare.

Hayes: [Laughter]

Jackson: I- I have that advantage, too. And in fact, I collected social security as soon as retired.

Hayes: But your heart's still in some ways is in Clover?

Jackson: Well, my heart is in Clover, my roots are in Clover. Eventually I will go back to Clover to live full-time.

Hayes: That's good. You still have a home there, right?

Jackson: Absolutely. I kept my parents' home. I still have my home. I still have friends there. I still have a little bit of family there.

Hayes: And is it still a good small town? I mean, it's changed a lot, too. But uh...

Jackson: Well, it's grown to 4,000.

Hayes: Oh!

Jackson: But Clover has a state-of-the-art auditorium for the school. They have an orchestra pit, they can sit 1,500 people in the auditorium. Uhm.. they have-- I picked up the uhm.. concert series, the brochure of the concert series they had when I was home last summer. A great concert series for a town of 4,000. Right down the road in York, uhm.. McElvy Center runs a- a wonderful uh.. series of programs. They've got a-- uh.. this is about nine miles down the road. Uh.. the historic center, where I hope someday to be able to volunteer, where people do their genealogy. Where they're collecting the material, the history of the county. So there're a lot of opportunities down there. Little towns-- and it's 25 miles from Charlotte, which I would never set foot in, unless I had to!

Hayes: Is it that close? I didn't realize it was that close.

Jackson: Yeah, it's about 25 miles from Rock Hill, and 25 miles from Charlotte.

Hayes: But are you going to start to get all of that bedroom community coming your way from Charlotte or not?

Jackson: Well, we had the state line at-- we- we already have some of it. Uh.. the Clover-- the town of Clover has grown very little, but the school district has grown by leaps and bounds. And they're constantly building schools because of people moving out of Charlotte into that school district to get out of the taxes over there. Uhm.. Clover and Fort Mill, TDK, and we've heard of TDK. And Like Wiley, River Hills, those communities. River Hills is in the Clover School District.

Hayes: So a lot of the people work in uh...

Jackson: Oh, there's very little that you can do in Clover. [Laughter] Now you have to drive. The mills have closed, uh.. as they have in all those communities over there. So most everybody drives to Charlotte or Gastonia or Rock Hill. Out of town to work.

Hayes: Great.

Jackson: The uh.. downtown part of Clover is practically dried up, but it's being renovated now, restored.

Hayes: The funny thing that strikes me is that you came to Wilmington, which was a fairly quiet burb when you arrived. And now in the- in the three-county area we're near 300,000. If you go to Clover, the same things may start to happen to uh.. a little more rural.

Jackson: Well, it's a little more rural, yeah. Charlotte's not going to get all the way down to Clover. They can't. They're stopped by the Catawba River as far as being able to incorporate. And I don't think the town of Clover will ever grow that much. Well, the original town was laid out in a- a circle. It was one mile all the way around. And it's jutted out a little bit around as they reached out to take in maybe a, you know, a factory that's built or something. But it's basically that one mile circle.

Zarbock: Why is Clover named Clover?

Jackson: Well, the tradition is well, it was a- a stop on the railroad, and there was a water tower there. And uh.. men would get out of the train, as they filled up the train, and look for clovers. Four-leaf. And so they started calling it Clover Patch. That's the tradition. But I found an article uh.. in an early newspaper, York Enquirer, sometime in the early 1900s and they were quoting my great-grandfather who was one of the first. When the 1880 census was taken, there was 12 families in Clover. My great-grandfather's family was one of them. And they asked him about the origins of Clover, and they asked him where the name came from, and he said he didn't have a clue. And the man who owned the York Enquirer at the time said that they needed a name to start a post office so that they could deliver the newspapers through the mail, and they needed a short name. And they needed one that hadn't been used anywhere else, so they came up with Clover. But the tradition exists, and anytime you hear where the name from Clover came form, it was that patch on the railroad track. [Laughter]

Uh.. Dory Sanders, I don't know whether you've ever heard of Dory Sanders, she's a black lady who has- has become one of uh.. well, she's a well-known writer now from South Carolina. Uh.. her parents owned a peach orchard. And uh.. she wrote this book called Clover, and everybody thought, "Oh, it's gonna be about Clover," 'cause she went to school in Clover actually. But it was the name of a character in the book. So it was disappointing that she wasn't writing about Clover. But it is a nice little town.

Hayes: All right listen, thank you very much.

Repository:
UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database
Found in:
Randall Library | UNCW Archives and Special Collections | Online Database | Contact Us | Admin Login
Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign