Helling is a man of many talents
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:00 PM
Bill Helling is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. One of the nicest, too. I'm not quite sure when I met Bill, however. I think when I was Children's Librarian at the Crawfordsville District Public Library (better known as CDPL) and I had his children in story hour. Certainly, I've known him for a long time, and delight in his every accomplishment. Guess you can tell that I admire Bill immensely and am delighted that he is this week's subject.
Karen Zach taught English at Turkey Run HS, has written columns for local newspapers for decades and is happy to be honoring interesting people in, "Around the County," which appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County. She is the editor of Montgomery Memories. Karen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing up in Kansas City, Mo., he was one of four children, having two brothers and a sister. Most of his family members still live in the Kansas City area. In fact, two of Bill and wife Jan's children live near there, as well. John, a son is a librarian in Johnson County, Kansas while daughter, Elizabeth, is a critical care nurse at the University of Kansas. The other son, Ryan is a graphic artist in Chicago. I found it pretty nifty that the family reflects each other so well, as Jan works in the radiology department of our local hospital similar to Elizabeth's interests; John is a librarian like Bill and Ryan is a graphic artist, also similar to his dad's talents, interests and jobs. Nifty family, the Hellings, for sure!
Bill attended a parochial school, O'Hara, where he took four years of French, loved art and was in cross country. These are interests he still holds today. His hobbies are drawing, running, and he taught French for eight years at Wabash. Bill's double B.A. degrees were in French and Art when he attended Avila College in Missouri. Not only is Bill proficient in French, he reads, writes and speaks German and Spanish, as well.
The first big-time job for Bill was working for Hallmark Cards as an artist. From there, Bill taught French at Kansas U. His Masters and PhD were in French. Deciding he needed to be even more marketable, Bill earned another Masters in School and Library Information Science (MIS) from Indiana University. A few of his academic honors are: Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Art Service Award, and Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Honor Society. He was also in Pi Delta Phi, French National Honor Society and received the Air France Award. The Beta Phi Mu award came from Library & Information Science, along with many other honors. Bill currently holds more than one job, including helping Wabash personnel with information needs (mainly web design); Assistant Director (along with just past Reference Department Head and current Acting Head of Tech Services). Being the first-ever CDPL Electronic Resources Librarian, Bill oversaw many technological improvements, including putting the library catalog online; digitizing resources (marriages; guardian dockets and more); and the wonderful library website (http://www.cdpl.lib.in.us/index.php).
Speaking of websites, Bill teaches the whole concept as an adjunct faculty member of the IU School of Library and Information Science. One of his more interesting jobs was his work with the Dummies books at IDG Press. He kept the writers on schedule, as well as editing their material and making sure everything was spot on from start to finish. Bill is an exceptional author himself. I was privileged to edit his wonderful local book, Images of America: Crawfordsville by Arcadia Publishing. He has a long list of articles in his repertoire, including some for our own Montgomery Memories. He is an exceptional public speaker, an expert in many aspects of the library world, top-notch teacher and web designer ... well, the list goes on.
It doesn't stop there, however, as upcoming in Bill's life is a Fulbright Scholarship to instruct at Haaga University in Helsinki, Finland. He's extremely excited and I know he will do an amazing job there teaching the Finish to design websites. Bill's philosophy of, "Learn a little every day," is simple and super, and is only one of the many reasons I chose Bill to be this week's "Around the County" subject.