Q&A with Ted Hostetler

Ted Hostetler, Director of Lipscomb Library, Randolph College, 1993-2017

Ted Hostetler, Director of Lipscomb Library, Randolph College, 1993-2017

Changing of the Guard: Bill Coulter | Paul Irwin | Bill Mattson | Ted Hostetler

How has technology changed during your tenure?

Academic libraries have significantly changed in the 43 years I have been a librarian. When I began as a cataloger at Iowa Wesleyan College in 1974, we basically offered books, print periodicals, and microfilm. In 1993, when I came to R-MWC, not a whole lot had changed. We did have three CR-ROM products at that point. When VIVA (Virtual Library of Virginia) began in 1995, academic libraries were off and running with technology and electronic resources.

As of 2017, most of what we offer at Lipscomb Library is electronic, which has greatly increased the intellectual resources available to the Randolph community.

How did you become an “official” shot clock operator?

I don’t remember the exact date, but perhaps in 2001 or 2002, Bill Burns, vice president for finance; Diane Davis, the head of buildings and grounds; and I were asked to work at the basketball table. I did the shot clock, Diane ran the game clock, and Bill kept the game book. All these years later, Bill and Diane are long retired, and I’m still there.

When men’s basketball was added 10 years ago, 15 games per year became 30, a much bigger commitment. I have continued to work the basketball table for several reasons. One, I think I’m good at it. But more importantly, it gives me a chance to develop a strong relationship with the students who regularly work at the table. I will always treasure a number of these friendships.

What will you miss the most?

I will greatly miss the stimulating intellectual environment that exists at a small, liberal arts college. Before coming to Randolph, I worked for three large universities. While I enjoyed these opportunities, the close relationships at Randolph just don’t exist at places like the University of California.

What is your favorite memory at Randolph?

During the first 10 years of my time at R-MWC, a group of us regularly had coffee and breakfast together. This group included Paula Wallace, Bill Burns, Peter LaBrecque, Rick Peterson, Skip Kughn, and Naomi Amos. Any topic was fair game and ideas were always freely exchanged. We discussed, argued, sometimes insulted each other, but always remained friends.

Often this was the most intellectually stimulating part of the day. I always felt that I’d better be prepared to have a knowledge of current events, or I would be found lacking. As the resident car guy, I could always be counted upon to explain what a hemi was or what function a CV joint performs. We each had our expertise.