offon

Monday is the big day. I start my new job as the Capital Area Library District Consultant for Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties in Pennsylvania. My home base will be the McCormick Riverfront Library in Harrisburg, which is the District Center for the Capital Area. I am excited, nervous, uncertain, optimistic, and grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

My last day as a cataloger was Friday, November 1. I took a week off between jobs to reset my switch, so to speak. My new job will be so completely different from my old job that I felt it was necessary to clear my mind in order to start over.

The week didn’t turn out as I planned due to the unexpected and tragic loss of our beloved bulldog, which happened at the end of the day on my last day of work at the Library System of Lancaster County. Instead of spending the week focusing on what was ahead of me, I spent most of the week focusing on what my family had lost–what was behind me. In my sorrow, I was unable to switch gears and capitalize on the energy that I felt as I left my cataloger’s desk for the last time.

What this past week has taught me is that we never truly leave anything behind. We carry our experiences with us wherever we go. Rather than trying to clean the slate and erase the engagement I felt to my specific library world over the last seven years, I should have been trying to find ways to take what I’ve learned with me into my new position.

Not only will I be able to start over; I’ll be able to start better with the full knowledge that what I have learned, the people whom I have met, and the challenges I have faced will help me as I move forward. Why would I want to forget what has gone before? As with Dudley, remembering doesn’t mean languishing in the past; it means reflecting on what was and using the good, the bad, and the ugly to move on stronger, wiser, and more prepared for success and failure and everything in between.

As for this blog, my hope is that my new job will inform what I write in new ways. I am still very interested in the culture of libraries and the people who work in them. I have been caught up in life and transitions for the past few months and haven’t had much to say because I have not been keeping up with what’s been happening outside of my own little world. And I haven’t felt comfortable sharing my thoughts about what has been happening in my world–some things are easy to share; some things are better left unsaid.

I don’t know what’s next for bringyournoise. But I know that whatever is next will be informed by the past, grounded in the present, and have a strong regard for the future, where anything is possible. Despite what some may think, this blog has not been a vehicle for self-promotion. Quite the contrary! I have always been afraid that writing this blog would count against me if it came down to it. Vocalizing strong opinions that go against the grain is not always the wisest course of action in the land of libraries. But my blog will not come to an end just because I am back at the beginning. If anything, I hope what I have to say will have more value because I will be growing and facing (and hopefully overcoming) new challenges. Believe me–I know how much I don’t know. And I know that I don’t even know everything I don’t know. After ten years of working in libraries as a cataloger, I still have so much to learn.

Maybe blogs are going out of vogue. Sometimes it seems that way to me. Of course, as with fashion, what’s old is sometimes new again. Starting over; starting better–I hope you’ll stick around to find out what’s yet to come–it will be a surprise to all of us! Thank you for sticking with me this far. Without a doubt, I am certain that I have learned more from you than you have learned from me.