Over the weekend the list of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers was announced, and I was selected as one of the librarians on the list. Since then I’ve tried to think of the perfect words to show my gratitude, but no matter what I write or say, my words cannot express how much I appreciate this honor. However, I will do my best with this post.
First, I’d like to thank Shawn Collins, who was my boss when I served as a graduate student assistant while attending the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences. When I started library school in 1999, I barely knew how to type a paper on the computer, and I knew very little of the web. Shortly after starting to work for Shawn, he handed me a blank computer and a Linux disc and told me to build a web server. The task seemed crazy at first, but he gave me guidance when necessary while letting me learn through exploration (and failure) on my own. Through the year’s experience working with him, Shawn taught a great deal about using technology to solve problems, and for that I am grateful.
Secondly, I’d like to thank my wife. It took a lot of faith for her to move to Ohio with me, particularly when our families are in Tennessee and Florida. She has also been very supportive while I attended conferences. It’s no small feat to take care of our three boys alone while your husband goes to sunny California to give a presentation. Thank you, Candace, for your love and your support. Because of your love and support, I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. And if I fail, I know you and the boys will always love me.
I’d also like to thank my colleagues in the Reference & Instruction Department at Ohio University’s Alden Library. It was the collegial and friendly atmosphere that brought me to Ohio, and I am so grateful that we are not just co-workers, but friends as well. My colleagues make my job so much fun, and I love working with each and every one of them. Our department is very willing to try new things, and even when we fail, they are very open to learning from the experience, rather than condemning it. I also need to point out that from reading the article, one would think that it’s just me incorporating new technologies into our library services. That could not be further from the truth. My colleagues have done great things with Facebook pages, podcasts and podcast tours, blogs, multimedia, Twitter, distance learning, freshmen outreach, screencasts, videos, online FAQs, wikis, toolbars, Blackboard, instruction, and much more. I work with some of the smartest people I know, and their wonderful ideas make it very easy to do some really cool, innovative things at our library. Thank you colleagues, for all that we share together.
When working with technology, one cannot forget those that provide support. While the Movers article describes me as an effective technology librarian, my effectiveness would be nothing without our Systems Department. After all, they are the ones who maintain the computer images, troubleshoot technical issues, administrate the webservers, and more. They do most of this work behind the scenes, and are generally only visible or noticed when something isn’t working right. Our library is blessed with a very supportive Systems staff, and because of the wonderful relationship we have with them, our library is able to do some really cool things. I know that our relationship with our Systems Department is far from the norm, and I do not take this for granted at all. Thank you, Systems Department, for all that you do for our library.
While the Movers article recognizes me as a technology librarian, most of the work that I do is with the faculty and students of the College of Business. I have loved serving them as Business Librarian for the past five years. Without them, ideas such as the Business Blog, the Biz Wiki, the videos and screencasts, would not have come about. As a matter of fact, the Biz Wiki would not exist were it not for their questions and research needs. It’s been a joy working with the students and faculty, and I appreciate them challenging me to find new ways to be a more effective librarian.
In my wildest dreams I never imagined that I would be a librarian when I grew up. Originally I thought I would be a doctor, then a lawyer, then an educator. Through a long series of steps, I was led to this career. I truly believe that God chose this career for me, as it is a perfect match for my personality and skill set. Thank you, God, for my gifts and talents, and for placing me in a job where I can use them most effectively.
Finally, I’d like to thank Char Booth and Meredith Farkas for nominating me. The thoughtfulness of your actions truly warms my heart. Thank you both, very, very much.
Once again, my words cannot truly express how humbled and honored I am to receive this reward. I’ve done my best to convey that here, but I assure you that I have come up short. Please know that I am grateful. Thank you.