A New Beginning …

I love change; I used to say “if it ain’t broke, push it off the table.” It drove some of my colleagues nuts. Starting this month, I’m changing something different: myself. I’ve pushed myself off the table.

My sabbatical has now started, I’ve stepped down from my position as CIO and Chief Librarian. I’m a has-been. Now the fun begins.

** Warning: Self-indulgent section begins **

So, a big question is, what do I call myself? We are so defined by our jobs, our work. I’m not just on sabbatical, I’ve also left the position I’ve been in for many years. What am I? “Former CIO and Chief Librarian?” Sounds rather gloomy and retrospective. Am I what I was, not what I am? “Librarian?” Yes, but not actually practicing my profession. “Librarian, on sabbatical?” Again, accurate, but what does that mean? For the first time in many years I’m going to have to define myself not by what I do but by some other criteria.

** End of self-indulgent section **

I’m pathologically afraid of being idle. Hence I’ve already taken on many projects. This blog (how retro to be seriously writing a blog in 2012) will be one of the places I talk about my new beginning. Here’s what I’m up to so far:

– writing a “book-like-thing” about literacy (actually the end of literacy; much more on this later).

– taking a graduate program in higher education. I’ve actually started this in September: MEd from OISE at the University of Toronto. Excellent so far.

– editing Access, the magazine of the Ontario Library Association. I’m the Editor-in-Chief. Way cool. Very challenging.

– teaching, I hope, I graduate course in “post literacy.” Again, more on this later. I need to get the syllabus finished.

– working with some professional associations to assist with a number of projects. This one is open ended. I just want to be helpful and see my profession from different angles.

– create things: write, film, record, mix, explore, edit, undo, redo. Stuff.

It’s a new beginning. I’m in pieces on the floor. Excellent.


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2 Responses to A New Beginning …

  1. Wayne Jones says:

    I agree that any title with “former” in it is a bit regressive. Since you’ll be a man “doing” literacy, I’d suggest “literaceur” as your new title. It has literacy, it has the “eur” making it an acceptable noun in English and French, and it puns on “race” (to the finish). Also, I just Googled it and it exists nowhere on the web. Now that’s cool. 🙂

  2. Kim Silk says:

    Mike — I’d like to submit a new title for you. Due to your known levels of humbility, which I admire, I suspect you will reject it. But here it is:

    Really Smart Person and Awesome Library Profession Role Model.

    Feel free to use it as you may.

    Change is always good, mostly because it’s scary. BOO! What an adrenaline rush!

    Any intentions of reviving yourself as a rock star?


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