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“The Last March of the Ents”

Leaving Letter

(picture inclusion with a nod towards Helene Blowers)

This post has been a long time coming. If all works out accordingly, this post will be published directly after or right before I hand the interested parties my letter of resignation from the University of Houston Libraries where I have worked for three and a half years. I am sad to be leaving my friends and colleagues behind, even though I will see most of them often enough. Those who know me or have been paying attention will not be surprised at my departure. I have needed, searched for, even longed for a change in work scenery for quite awhile.

I am trading my crazy, traffic filled commute for domesticity and working from home. Instead of a Social Sciences Librarian, I will be a stay at home wife, mother, and Geek Librarian At Large. In addition to changing diapers and walking around with a baby attached to my chest, I plan on engaging in the following professional activities:

  • Blogging in this space and over here
  • Writing for ALA Techsource Blog
  • Working on a book on Strategic Planning for ACRL
  • Writing a chapter for an upcoming book on Millennials
  • Serving on Jim Rettig’s Presidential Advisory Committee
  • Serving in LITA in various positions
  • Possibly working with SOLINET as an adjunct
  • Consulting
  • Rabble-rousing from afar
  • Friends and long time readers will surmise correctly that I am going to continue to do the things that I love the most about being a librarian, teaching and advocating for technology education in librarianship. Due to the impending arrival of Baby Rochester, I am placing a hiatus on most professional travel for almost a year and half. I expect my next conference to be ALA Annual 2009, though one never knows what life will bring you. Box of chocolates, anyone?

    I plan on writing at least one more post reflecting on working in an academic library, based on my experiences in the one that fostered me these last few years, and the kind of job I would love to have some day. Those should be coming along shortly.

    Until then, I am excited about this new phase of my life, happy for the change of pace, and pleased to be able to finally tell you, gentle readers and friends, my plan.

    –Jane, tickled baby boy blue

    25 comments to “The Last March of the Ents”

    • Not surprised at all, but pleased for you. This is a good direction for you to be going in right now. In five or ten years? Who knows. But for now it sounds quite wonderful.

    • Oh, congratulations. What an exciting step! Good luck, good luck, good luck!

      – Jenica, envious.

    • This plan sounds about perfect to me — striking a balance between career and personal life. Wishing you all the best as you enter this stage in your life and career. It was great to see you at MW and I will look forward to seeing you f2f in 2009.

    • So, so very happy for you. Sad that I’m likely not going to see you for the better part of TWO YEARS, but happy.

      Can’t wait to help rabble rouse with you!

      Congrats.

    • Congratulations! Good to know you’ll be keeping up with the rabble-rousing here, there, and just about everywhere.

    • Congratulations! Great to meet you at MW (I had the green striped scarf) and I’m looking forward to your longish distance rabble rousing. Enjoy your new roles and the proverbial chocolate (as well as some actual chocolates, I hope).

    • This is wonderful news! Congratulations and best of luck on your journey.

    • How wonderful for you and your son! Those first years fly by so quickly and it is so important to cherish that time. Soon enough he’ll be in school and give you plenty of time to focus on the opportunities available then. Looks like you have plenty planned to keep you fresh. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this sabbatical. Best to you!

    • Aaron the Librarian

      W00t, Mama!

      Break a leg (in the theatrical sense), congratulations, and what else is there to say that hasn’t already been said above?!

      Looking forward to seeing you on the paths you take…

      -Aaron
      :-)’

    • Congrats Michelle! No doubt you will continue to contribute and make a difference in new and exciting ways :-)

    • Yet another congratulations! This is a good move for you, and it lets me contemplate how best to throw virtual work your way. ;-)

    • There’s a giant leap! Congratulations!

    • Jane

      All,
      I love my internet friends! Thanks to all. Y’all are all very sweet.

      Jenny,
      Well, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to try to throw work my way. haha.

    • Congrats, Michelle! Glad to hear you’re making this move, I think it’ll be a good one for you.

    • Good for you! Obviously being a mom will talk up a lot of time, but with less of the daily library grind, does this mean you’ll have more time for nefarious plotting and rabble rousing? Because that would be awesome. (“So, what do you do?” “Oh, I’m a stay-at-home troublemaker.”)

    • Speaking for some of the poor shlubs that Jane is leaving behind, she will be missed. Her infectious laugh and her generosity as a colleague can’t be replaced. While I am fantastically happy for you, there will likely be some pouting too. : (

    • Congratulations, Michelle. Take plenty of time to just love and live and enjoy. Take lots of pictures, write a baby journal, etc. Play with all the toys. Protect and teach, while you can.

      A thought about libraries. I spent six years as a stay at home Dad, and I count them as vital to my professional education because I became the library user for awhile. I saw and felt how the interest of lack of interest from library staff in various public libraries effected my library experience. I think I am more of a library user advocate now than I was just out of library school. So, these will not be lost years professionally.

      I worried after six years whether anyone would hire me again, but they did. You should have no problem there.

      Good luck with everything.

    • Michelle – I am so happy for you, but I am sad for us here at the Univ. of Houston. You have shared your energy and contributed greatly to this library as well as libraryland at-large. I’m also sad because I just got here and now you are leaving! But I wish you the best and will still look forward to seeing what you have to say. (It is always informative as well as entertaining!)

    • Kathryn Deiss

      Michelle! Fabulous news for you and good to hear about your plans. UH is the poorer for you leaving but you did good work while you were there for which I am certain they are appreciative. Good luck and glad to hear you are still on the ACRL book! ;-)

    • Millie

      Congratulations! Enjoy the time with your baby and for doing things that truly engage you.

    • Alane

      Oh my, I have such mixed reactions to this, Michelle. I am 100% rah rah on your decision….yay! Life/work balance! But as one of the baby boomer librarians, I looked to the likes of you to leap into lib management and shake things up. Well, sensible you, you’ve said nuts to the existing ladder in favour of making your own ladder. I am pretty sure I like your ladder way better than the pre-fab ones I was offered, but I fret that the pre-fab ones prevail. Let’s hope not.
      Looking forward to your post on your ideal job…I think that sort of musing is helpful generally as fodder for reinvention of traditional jobs.

    • Thanks for keeping your hand in library things at TechSource. I’m told babies do a lot of napping early on. You’ll have to tweet that!
      Patrick

    • Speaking of work, I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities for collaboration we can come up with – I think I can speak for SOLINET when I say we would love you to have you work with us :-) Good luck in whatever you choose to do; whatever it is, I’m sure you will be successful!

    • Yay Janey!

      I’m very happy to hear the news! You keep on rocking emerging leader lady!

      PS – Adriel is a great name – for boys and girls of all ages!

    • Hey MB I was just recommending you as a speaker for something…when I came across your post. Sorry we had time for not much more than a blurred hello at MW. As someone 5 months “on the other side” of pregnancy and motherhood, ohhh enjoy it. Do as much baby-wearin’, diaper-changin’ and silly song-singin’ as humanly possible. We expect lots of photos.

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