not a librarian anymore?

For the first time since 1994 (yeah, I am old!) I will not be working in a library, starting in early September. I am leaving the wonderful Lomira QGC Library to focus more on my doctoral studies.

And to continue getting insurance (because research assistants lose their insurance privileges at the UW if they work anywhere else connected to the state system, even if that other job offers no insurance benefits!)

We appealed this insurance decision. We tried thinking of creative ways for me to continue, including consulting. But eventually it became clear that my joyous and fruitful tenure as the director of the library was at an end if I wanted to continue being a PhD student.

In some ways this is great for me–I will be able to focus more on my research and studies, be able to spend more time on campus, and not feel as though my energy is always split. I may be able to spend less than 14 hours a day working, or maybe even take a whole or part of a day off.In fact, I’m saying this right now: if I can’t get my work done in 12 hours a day/6 days a week (plus maybe a few hours that 7th day) than IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE DONE. Right? Right?!

On the other hand, I have defined myself as a librarian (or at least a library worker for the first few years) since I was 23. After almost half a lifetime  spent in libraries, it is odd and unsettling to “just” be a student. I worry that changes will pass me by, that I will become distant from the things I care about, and am studying.

I will continue consulting and running hands-on workshops, though. This helps a lot to keep my hands in. So, if you’re interested in makerspaces, policy, weeding, user-centered services, the social impacts of libraries, programs, the arts, teens, library fine policy…I’d be happy to come and work with you. Just maybe not on that partially free day each week!


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