L. Keith Hill, M.A.



Patti Levine-Brown, “L. Keith Hill, M.A.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48025.

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L. Keith Hill, M.A.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Patti Levine-Brown




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


Temporal Coverage



Associate Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Associate Professor Emeritus of the Library L. Keith Hill (July 4, 1942-) was born in Camden, South Carolina. As he finished his undergraduate degree in history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, in the spring of 1964, Hill was uncertain regarding his future plans. While in the campus library, he began perusing graduate school catalogs. Having spent part of his childhood in Piedmont North Carolina, he was attracted to the catalog of Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University), with its black-and-white photograph of the Appalachian campus as seen from the top of Howard's Knob. This introduction to the college led Hill to enter the Appalachian State graduate program in the fall of 1964. A year later, he received his M.A. degree in the social sciences, with a specialization in community college teaching. For the next four years, Hill was an instructor at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Virginia. Here he taught various history courses, as well as political science, literature, and even secretarial science, for a year. Hill entered graduate school at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, in the fall of 1969. He remained there two years and completed the course work for a doctorate in history. Since the job market in this field was so tight, Hill entered the library school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill during the summer of 1971. He finished the course work for a master's degree in the spring of 1972. As a final requirement for this degree, Hill wrote a history of the Appalachian State University library from its beginnings in 1899 until the retirement of long-time director, Leonard Eury, in 1970. Hill's research on the library's history required him to spend extensive time in Boone, gathering documents and interviewing library personnel and other faculty and administrators throughout the University. The result of his research was a well-documented history of the library, which completed his degree. It also led to a position in the Appalachian State library, beginning in July 1972. During the next thirty-two years, Hill worked in the Belk Library and taught lower division courses in the Department of History for a number of years. He held various positions in the library, which provided him with periodic renewal and continued intellectual stimulation. His library responsibilities centered around references services until the late nineties. Some of his duties included reference desk service, library instruction, microform materials, and collection development. He also took a one-year turn as a rotating reference department head, and was a coordinator of reference desk services for a number of years. Upon library reorganization in the early nineties, Hill served for two years as the first coordinator of reference services and bibliographic instruction. Hill spent his final years in the library as a full-time collection-development librarian. This position allowed him to work closely with many academic departments in social sciences and humanities in selecting library materials. He especially enjoyed the role he played in building the history collection. During his graduate program at Appalachian State Teachers' College, Hill met his future wife, Martha Elizabeth "Betsy" Wellborn. They were married September 3,1966, when she transferred to Radford College to complete her undergraduate degree with a major in biology. Betsy also became a teacher, and taught for nearly thirty-four years until she retired from the Wilkes County school system in 2001. In the summer of 2001, Hill formally retired from Appalachian State University, but entered the phased retirement program. His participation in the program concluded in June 2004. According to Hill, retirement is recommended. He and his wife are enjoying frequent travel, cultural programs, reading, and the simple pleasure of rural life on a hilltop just east of Deep Gap, North Carolina. Keri Elizabeth, their daughter, also makes retirement much brighter. She is a 1999 graduate of Appalachian State University, with a major in psychology. Keri recently completed a master's degree in community counseling at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She is employed as a mental health counselor and works with troubled youth. In June of 2004, the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees awarded Hill the rank of associate professor Emeritus. Sources: Appalachian State University files. -Patti Levine-Brown

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