A damaged class ring had sat in Jim Przepasniak’s drawer for many years. But now it’s been repaired, and Jim, who graduated from the College of Steubenville in 1957, will proudly wear it to his class’s fiftieth anniversary reunion this fall. He’ll be coming quite a distance to get here.
Jim and his wife, Angela, have lived in El Paso, Texas, since 2001, where he is deputy director of the El Paso Public Library system. He oversees a staff of 65 in a huge main branch that is as much a cultural and community center as a library: Its recent 45,000-square-foot addition includes a 49-seat computer lab, a 250-seat auditorium, a “Children’s Village,” a “Teen Town,” and a Border Heritage Collection containing 45,000 items related to the history of the Texas-Mexican border region.
Jim’s been involved with libraries ever since he graduated from the College with a degree in secondary education. He received his master’s in library science from SUNY in Geneseo, New York, and became a high school librarian in his hometown of Buffalo. Working his way up through several college library positions during the sixties and seventies, he eventually became head librarian at Alliance College in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. During the eighties he worked in the Erie, Pennsylvania, public library system, and then headed out to Chicago, where he held various department head positions with the Oak Park Public Libraries through the nineties. When a friend in El Paso suggested that Jim look westward, he was intrigued—the humid summers and frozen winters of Chicago had been hard on Angela’s health. Although the application process for the El Paso position was formidable, an extremely smooth relocation confirmed that this was the right choice for Jim and his family.
Jim looks forward to seeing some of his Omicron Alpha Kappa brothers and other late fifties alumni this fall.
Originally published in the Spring 2007 Baronette newsletter. Since then, Jim Przepasniak has passed away. May he rest in peace.