State of the Blog: Thank You

Movers & Shakers sign

(Taken outside the Library Journal suite where I had my picture taken.)

Today, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of congratulations from the online library community at being named a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. It’s an honor and I am humbled immensely to be included with such a gifted group of fellow librarian professionals.

About a year ago, I started this blog. It has a different focus back then. There were more posts about politics and social issues, as I thought it was where my writing interest lay. Over time this was not to be as I wanted to write more and more about what really stirred my passions: librarianship. In the intervening months, I have found that it is not the technology, the customer service, the life of a public servant, the evaporating funding, nor the smaller professional squabbles that really truly compel me (though I will certainly write on such things at length); what really intrigues me is the soul of librarianship. The ideals, the emotional core, the spark that makes thousands of my fellow professionals get up in the morning and love what they do (even if they don’t always like the circumstances). The physical structures, technology, materials, and models are but temporary in these changing ages, but what impassions people to take up the mantle of librarianship is more intriguing and, with the way in which things are changing, vastly more important.

My success did not occur in a vacuum. It is the culmination of many people and events that have put me to where I am today.  Unlike the Academy Awards, I’d like to take some time to thank everyone.

First and foremost to my wife, Kathy, for without her, I would not be a librarian today. She talked about it, we did the MLS program together, and here we are now both working in public libraries. Next, to my parents, as they supported us through graduate school and all of the other steps we made. To my brother, for being an equally creative force (and the guy who came up with the name “Gooey Decimal System”).

To the people who nominated me, Laverne Mann, Peter Bromberg, Janie Hermann, Lisa Coats, and Julie Strange, I cannot thank you enough. Your professional encouragement and personal friendship have helped me grow within this field. While we may not cross paths as often as we’d like, each time results in a new idea, insights, or approach to something on my mind. That’s pretty stellar, in my book.

I’d also like to thank Blake Carver. If he hadn’t bumped one of my blog posts to the front page on LISNews, I would not have considered writing more than just passing thoughts. His support for my writing has boosted my confidence to take on bigger issues and to delve in the hearts of matters facing the library community. For his continued support, I thank him heartily.

In addition, and perhaps unknown to Blake, he has also given me a gem that I wanted to include in any professional biography I ever need to write. (Thanks Robin for letting me use this screen shot.)


To the people of 8bitlibraries (JP, Justin, Erin, Laverne [again], and Craig), I’m pleased to be part of a group of people looking to change a facet of the library. Gaming has moved from the lonely dark basements into the mainstream, and I’m glad to be part of the team that work for its inclusion and use in library programming and collections.

To my everyday librarian “braintrust” (Buffy Hamilton, Bobbi Newman, Amy Kearns, Karen Klapperstuck, and Julie Strange [again]), these are the fun patient people who keep me afloat with links, ideas, and conversation during the work day. These are the people to whom I can inquire and get inspired, and they have shaped more blog posts than they would imagine. (Also, to Steve Lawson, for entertaining lots of wacky ideas that always start off with something akin to “Hey Steve, quick question” when it is neither quick nor usually a question.)

And finally, thanks to my colleagues at the Burlington County Library System. It’s a privilege to work with them and I’m glad to be a part of something that makes a difference in people’s lives all over the county every day.

This has been a great past year.


Some say the world will end in fire…


That’s the official account of our snowfall, taken from the side of the driveway. Today was a bit of an obstacle course as I wrestled the snow blower out of the shed to clear the driveway and sidewalks (and that of our neighbors), then go out and grab enough take out to ensure a lazy afternoon and evening, and then send out seventy five emails and Facebook messages for the Online Holiday Secret Santa Extravaganza for library folks to their respective people (lots of ideas for next year on how to do it better). Tonight was a raid night for World of Warcraft so I and twenty four of my fellow game friends punches monsters in dungeons for loot (or tried to at least).

Click here for more snowstorm pictures! Yesterday was good day off, though I wanted to write a blog post but our power went off at 10:30pm. Kathy and I hunkered down in the family room by the natural gas fireplace and candles and read a bit. Of course, once we had stacked the bed high with blankets and snuggled in, the power returned. Lest we sweat to death, we undid our mountain of quilt mass and finally passed out.

I did not get a chance to finish the blog post that I wanted to write (I hope to do that tomorrow), but I did apply for a job. I am very happy with my current position, but the words “once in a lifetime” danced through my head when it came across the Twitter feed. This is certainly more for the ability to say “I applied for this job” than getting it, although I’ll just have to see how it goes. From what I have heard, there are people who are better positioned to get it (people who are currently federal employees), but you never know.

(By the by, the post title comes from a line from the Robert Frost poem, Fire and Ice. (Forgive the ads.) Take that, Whitman!)