Jim Morris was the Library Director at Florida Gateway College, formerly Lake City Community College, for 24 years and was a much loved friend and colleague to many throughout the state. He devoted his career to the love of books and libraries and is greatly missed since his untimely death in 2012 from pancreatic cancer.
Jim was born and raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Indiana University in 1972, and a Masters of Liberal Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1973. After that he moved back to the Louisville area and worked as a Reference Paraprofessional at the Louisville Free Public Library for 3 years. He returned to Florida in 1978 and became a grant writer and Instructional Resource Specialist at Brevard Community College (BCC).
In 1984, Jim accepted the position of Continuing Education Director at Lake City Community College (LCCC), and upon earning a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Florida State University in 1989 he became Director of the LCCC Library. He was promoted to Executive Director of Library and Community Services in 2001.
Jim served on the executive board of the Computer Center for Library Automation (CCLA), was co-chair of the Task Force on the Future of Florida’s Academic Libraries 2010-2012, and was awarded the 2012 Librarian of the Year award by the Florida Library Association. He served on the NEFLIN Board of Directors 2004-2007, the last year as board president. In 2008 he and Patricia Hay Morris (NEFLIN Continuing Education Coordinator 2005-2013) were married in the LCCC library.
Jim was an artist who painted abstract expressionism and had several art shows in Lake City. Some of his artwork can be seen at http://jimmorrisart.blogspot.com/, and one of his paintings is on display in the NEFLIN classroom. He was also a poet, classical guitarist and composer, and was working on a novel. He was admired by many for his intelligence, humor and warm personality.