Retiring librarian sad to leave, happy about starting new chapter in life

With plans for the future, James Belcher is retiring after working for South Plains College’s Library for 10 years.

Belcher, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, living there until he was about 6 years old. His family later moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he lived until he graduated from high school.

Belcher attended John Brown University in Arkansas for his freshman year, then transferred to Oklahoma State, where he completed his bachelor’s degree.

After college, he served in the United States Navy for four years. Most of his time was spent at Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, which was the primary flight training base for the Navy. Belcher was an air traffic controller.

“Pilots earned their wings at our base and then moved on to advanced training,” Belcher said.

After Belcher served for four years, he earned his Master of Business Administration degree at Texas Tech University and later earned a master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Oklahoma.

Before he came to SPC, Belcher worked at three other libraries, Lanier Elementary School Library in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fallsburg Public Library in South Fallsburg, New York, and Neill Public Library in Pullman, Washington.

Belcher said he applied for the position at SPC because he wanted to return to Lubbock.

“I had thought I would stay in the public library sector,” he explained, “but there were no positions open in Lubbock.”

Being ready for a new challenge and seeing that SPC came highly recommended, he took a job at SPC’s Library.

“I still thought I would eventually go back to the public sector,” Belcher said. “But once I got here, I decided SPC was the place to be.”

Praising his staff, he said, “I am impressed every week by one or more of the staff at SPC with what they do or know or are willing to contribute.”

He mentioned that the staff at every place he has worked has been good, “but the staff here at SPC have been super good.” He said he hates to leave them (the staff) because they work hard and they work together, never losing focus on helping students succeed.

“I know they are capable and willing to keep the Library moving forward and contributing to SPC success,” said Belcher.

Belcher and his wife have two sons. One who he gets to see quite often works as a fireman in Lubbock. The other lives in Pullman, Washington, “so we do not see a lot of him or his family.” However, he hopes to change that now that he is retiring.

Belcher enjoys riding his bicycle, reading, working on puzzles, and puttering in his workshop. He said that he and his wife will try to do as much traveling as they can physically stand and afford.

“We have some mission work we want to get into, and, of course, lots of books to read,” said Belcher of his retirement plans.

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