Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blowing off the dust

It has been quite some time since I posted here and I think it's time to blow off the dust and take a look around.  When I first started this blog back in 2005 I was hitting the road to clear my head, give away books and meet old friends.  At the time I was in another of those transition stages in my life. I had closed my bookstore and taken refuge in a life of delivering pizzas and newspapers, driving a taxi, emptying a nest, returning to my library roots and wondering just where my life would go.

That trip is still fresh in my mind from the long drive out to Springfield, Oregon and finally meeting one of my dearest online book selling friends, Dennis.  We had some great adventures which included meeting the Pirate Guys and freeing books into the ocean. In case you are wondering, if you wrap them correctly they will float away and be found by a new reader somewhere else. My long drive home through Idaho,  Montana and Wyoming was accompanied by Ivan Doug's This House of Sky on tape which had me in tears by the end. I arrived home determined to do something different with my life.

Little did I know how long it would take and how far I would travel. I quickly moved on to a temporary job grading standardized tests (pretty demoralizing) which lead to full time  work as a theological librarian. With a downturn in the economy and a desire to travel more, I realized after three years that it was time to move on. I must have had a premonition about how dire things were as my position was eliminated and my boss was soon dismissed as well.  I saved all my money and sold almost everything that I owned and qualified as an English teacher. I jumped ship for Asia July 3rd 2009 with a brief stop for a summer in the UK, land of my birth.  Two years in South Korea followed by a short stint in China left me enriched in many ways.

My next plan was to head to Kazakhstan for a library job  but the deal soured while I was in England waiting for a visa. Always one to bounce back, I visited with an employment agent who specialized in library and knowledge workers. Within two weeks they had me in a temporary job at a further education college. That lasted a year and again I had a foreshadowing of dire events. I found a more permanent position in a private historic library in the nick of time as the week after I left the college, all library management staff positions were eliminated. The staff were then forced  to either compete for three new positions or take a buyout offer. Had I stayed I would have been out of luck as I was still agency staff. That institution is now faced with a major impending strike and no libraries. Instead students have self directed learning centres (whatever they are) and no professional staff to guide them.

So here I am over a year later wondering what's next. I plan on using this blog to hone my reflective practice skills as I deal with another set of professional challenges.  Stay tuned....

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