I was able to reflect a bit this Thanksgiving on some of the things I am thankful for as I spent the holiday break in Alpine, Marfa, Terlingua and the Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend area of west Texas – all far removed from work, traffic, and technology.
At some point during the week before Thanksgiving I read the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Three Things We’re Thankful For This Year from the ProfHacker Team which prompted me to consider my own list of three things and here they are!
- Working in academia: It seems in the very difficult social and economic times many of us are facing, academics is still holding on. Granted, there are many budget cuts for both public and private institutions of higher education. The public colleges and universities in the state of Texas are feeling the hit as our state is looking at 10 percent budget cuts for next biennium. And this is before our legislature even convenes next year.
Even with these challenges, I am still very thankful to be working in an environment of change helping students and faculty. The ebb and flow of semesters is a constant reminder of change, learning, and progress. Often working with students during their academic careers, one shares in their pride and accomplishment after a word of “thanks” once they finish the final papers and exams and prepare for graduation.
- iPhone: What can you say? My iPhone is indispensable. Even in the high desert regions of Texas jumping from ‘No Service’ to the E and even the O networks, it was still ever-present. Filled with songs for road, used for snapping photos and shooting video, or even quickly checking email, the iPhone is something I could not do without and for which I definitely am thankful.
- Colleagues who share: This one is pretty big and I have to send out a lot of thanks to the many who share their work oftentimes simply for the sake of sharing. I have learned so much over the past few years from the many colleagues out there who daily share their valuable thoughts, opinions, and knowledge. With so many wonderful librarians blogging, tweeting, writing, presenting, and just outright giving in many other ways, sometimes it can be burdensome to try to keep up. Thankfully though with tools like Google reader, twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, slideshare, and others, it has become increasingly easy to not only follow leaders in the field but to reach out and connect with them.
I follow countless colleagues via facebook, twitter, and in my feed reader but here in no particular order is but a mere sampling of librarians who share. Follow them if you don’t already. Oh, and share a bit along the way too.
- Jessamyn West – librarian.net
- Michael Stephens – Tame the Web
- Bobbi L. Newman – Librarian By Day
- Stephen Abram – Stephen’s Lighthouse
- Sarah Houghton-Jan – Librarian in Black
- Steven Bell – The Kept-Up Academic Librarian
- David Lee King – David Lee King
- K.G. Schneider – Free Range Librarian
- Meredith Farkas – Information Wants To Be Free
- Aaron Schmidt – Walking Paper
- Matthew D. Hamilton – The Brewin’ Librarian
- Nicole C. Engard – What I Learned Today
- Various Librarians – In the Library with the Leadpipe