I’ve had a great run at NCSU Libraries, where I have been just shy of nine years. I’m immensely appreciative for all the opportunities that were given to me here—a library that puts its money where its librarians’ mouths are, aspires to and achieves greatness, embraces practical advocacy, and hires some of the best people you could ever hope to work with. I can honestly say that in nine years, I have never had a boring day at work.
More than that, NCSU Libraries indulged my desire to speak, write, and consult on a variety of library topics . . . activities that ultimately led to a platform from which I could launch a new chapter of my career. Of course none of the above would have been possible without an unbelievable collection of colleagues, some of whom have moved on to other pastures, many of whom I will be leaving with a touch of sadness.
Okay, before this gets too sappy . . . what about OCLC? I can barely contain my excitement. Yes, this is a big move, both for my career and for my family. Frankly, it’s where the action is, and that’s where I want to be. I’m going to get a chance to work with really great people, learn new things, and help increase the value of OCLC to libraries and the value of libraries to patrons.
Dark side? “Pshaw,” I say. Those of you who know me well know that I decry the notion that there are “sides” to our profession. My passion for my chosen field requires that I work for places and people that embrace the ethos of librarianship. OCLC is such a place. It is the biggest such place. What will I be doing? Suffice it for now to say that I will be working hard to make things better. The same thing that I have always tried to do. The word might be passé, but “psyched” is the best one I can think of to describe how I’m feeling about the new job.
What becomes of my status as vendor provocateur? My column? This blog? Well, I’ll be submitting my last “Technically Speaking” column next week for the January/February issue of American Libraries. Again, a nice run there, and a platform that I have loved and will dearly miss, but life goes on. As for the blog, I have not completely decided. As a companion to the magazine column, I hope the mantle will pass. But I also hope to find a platform and new voice (i.e., new content) for “Hectic Pace” . . . like many things, that will depend on time allowed and whether readers out there want to continue to hear from me. Will I stop provoking and being a little disruptive? Will I stop writing? Will I stop being so opinionated? Fat chance on all three counts.
I’ve had so many nice emails, Facebook wall postings, IMs, and phone calls from friends and colleagues, but I’d be remiss if I did not mention the love and support of my family during this transition—my wife Sharon with whom I embark on another geographic adventure like the one we had to California now so long ago, Emma (9), and Eli (5). I couldn’t do this without them. So, farewell (soon) to Raleigh, N.C. Hello Dublin, OH. I can hardly wait.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]