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A New Book, a New Chapter, a New Life

Longtime Library Director David Hutchison set to retire

Hutchison sometimes helps out at the circulation desk.
Dennis Wahlman / Mainstream
Hutchison sometimes helps out at the circulation desk.

When spring term comes to a close, just about when students start to plan their summer vacations, the UCC library will be making some new arrangements of their own.

David Hutchison, who has been the library director for close to 20 years, will retire and end a chapter in the book of his life.

Hutchison came to UCC seeking a change. He had been the head of Adult Services at the Douglas County Library when the director position opened up at the college.

“I was ready for a new challenge, and I was ready to throw my hat into the ring when this director position came up. I gave it a try. It fit into my background and career trajectory,” Hutchison said.

Although Hutchison received his master’s degree in Library and Information Services from the University of California at Berkley, becoming a librarian was not his life-long dream.

“The first time I got a library job, I was 23 at Sonoma State [college], and I didn’t want to move home that summer, so I got a part-time custodial job and a part-time library job shelving books at the Santa Rosa Public Library. When school started, I had to give up one of those jobs. I gave up the custodial job. That’s when I realized that libraries were kind of a cool place for me to work in.”

During his tenure at UCC, Hutchison has accomplished many things: He has added to a reservoir of knowledge, helped students navigate the complex world of information and created new and lasting friendships. So why retire now?

“I’m the right age, so it’s possible,” Hutchison said about retirement. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the public employee retirement system, so I thought now was as good a time as any. Maybe it’s time for somebody else to tackle the changing world of libraries too. I’ll have been working as a librarian in Douglas County 30 years by next June.”

Reference Librarian Katie Cunnion was eloquent in her praise for her boss.

“He has been a great mentor, a great supervisor, a great director to work for. I have been very lucky to have a director like David. He will support projects anyone in the library is working on, but he won’t get in the way. His question is never why, but why not?”

Library Specialist Kristin Moser will also be sad to see Hutchison retire.

 “I will miss the camaraderie, we get along very well, we have a good rapport,” Moser said. “He’s a good boss that lets you do what you are supposed to do and supports you in doing that. He encourages you to grow in your job as well.” Moser has worked with Hutchison for over 11 years.

“David is a very smart person, he has a lot of knowledge and is very willing to share. He is very helpful if you need assistance. We have had a lot in common,” Moser said.

Student Kristopher Yates, who is a library aid, recalls the friendly reception he received when meeting Hutchison for the first time.

“From the get-go, Dave was very friendly. As a library director, I expected him to be snotty, but he was very cool, very personable. He’s a really nice guy. He knew my name right away. Even though he met me once, he always waves and says hi,” Yates said.

History teacher Charles Young also finds Hutchison to be an accommodating director.

“He is very supportive. If there are resources I need, he is quick to access them for me. He is a Renaissance man. No matter what subject we are discussing, he is always so eloquent and has done recent research,” Young said.

“I will be sad to see him go but happy for his upcoming retirement. The school will really miss his charm, his wit and his sense of humor.”

Even though Hutchison is retiring, it does not mean his life will be boring.

“I seem so busy that it would be easy to fill in the 8 to 10 hours I spend here [at UCC]. I have hobbies, I play music. I’m a beer brewer, and I would like to garden more. I would like to start learning to put food by [storing food] and ferment food. I would like to start reading more.”

Much will change in Hutchison’s life, but he doesn’t hesitate when saying what he will miss most.

“The students. I feel like I have seen the cream of the crop because they want to better themselves or they are in learning mode. Just seeing people in a pretty good space, they are moving forward, and they are learning and that’s really healthy. I like that. I will miss that.”

Q and A with David Hutchison, library director

Q: What kind of music do you play?
A: Irish traditional and bluegrass.

Q: What instrument(s) do you play?
A: The fiddle.

Q: How long have you been brewing beer?
A: Since 1993.

Q: What kinds of beer do you brew?
A: Organic IPAS or pale ales. I’ve been stuck in a rut of sorts and order several new ones to try.

Q: What would you like to have in your garden?
A: I would like to have more winter vegetables and have more sun in my garden.

Q: What would you be interested in learning to preserve?
A: I would like to learn to make sauerkraut and kim chi.

Q: What would you be interested in reading?
A: I would like to subscribe to the New Yorker. I’ll have more time to read it than just my 30 minute lunch break.