walking paper out west

I haven’t made many meta announcements on walking paper but this one is probably worth mentioning.

I gave my notice at the TFML and am moving to Portland, Oregon to get my school library media certification. This is a bit of a change in direction career wise (I can’t wait until I try to get IM unblocked from a school’s network), but much of my time as a reference librarian has been spent working with teenagers, and working on stuff teenagers like so I think it will be a good fit. Plus, my wife has summers off so it will be nice if I do too. This will probably help my serious case of wanderlust.

Leaving the TFML will be bittersweet because of the amazingly easy to work with staff, and because I’ve been able to do so much great stuff there with their help. I’m so glad that the library has dramatically changed since I started working there four years ago. My favorite projects and accomplishments have included:

There are also a few things I wish I could have seen happen at the TFML:

  • end cap displays for the stacks
  • a mounted projector in the board room
  • a redesign of the meeting room (a huge project because of structural supports)

Though I’ll be in Portland, I’m not going to be a stranger to the TFML. I’m still going to be developing fordlibrary.org, and I’m actually going to have more time to do it. I’m really happy about this because the site is getting used quite a bit, and we’re about three quarters of the way though an amazing redesign planning process. The website will be better than ever!

In addition to work on the website and taking classes, I’ll continue to write articles for print publications and continue to give presentations and consult with libraries. Not all, but most of my presentations to librarians (aside from at Internet Librarian shows) have been in the Midwest, so I’m looking forward to working with some libraries in the West. Walkingpaper.org will likely continue to stroll along at its usual pace, and perhaps even pick up more steam at some point. I know I’m going to get just as excited about implementing relevant, user-centered technology in school libraries.

That being said, I’m certainly looking forward to some major away from keyboard time. Living in the Pacific Northwest is going to provide me with greater opportunities for cycling, climbing, rafting, and everything else I like to do. As neat as it is to be connected, and as much as I like managing my digital presence, nothing beats being on top of a mountain, looking out on the vastness of the earth and sky. Except maybe the Nokia N80. Just kidding.

So. Thanks for reading. I’ll be back in the future with my thoughts on the web presence of public libraries, and neat things about school libraries!

17 thoughts on “walking paper out west”

  1. Aaron,

    We’re going to miss you a lot at Thomas Ford. I am glad you will still be working for us remotely. I am happy that you are going to such a wonderful city and that I now have a place to stay in Portland. No telling how long I might stay.

    We will miss more than your technical innovations and know-how. You have been most helpful and patient with young and old alike, helping them reference questions, finding books, troubleshooting laptops, teaching email classes, and always greeting them with a smile. If you ever need a recommendation, you know who to call.


  2. OMG!!! Congratulations to you and your wife on making such an exciting choice for your lives! I know how much you wanted to live near mountains, so I’m glad you’re following your bliss (and Oregon rocks!). I know you’ll be a terrific school library media specialist and I can’t wait to hear about your experiences shaking up the school library world. Keep in touch! :)

  3. Best of luck to you! (not that you’ll need it)

    It takes some bravery to just pick up and move like that, but it’s great you can stay at least somewhat involved with where you were.

    School library work has always been in the back of my head, so I’ll be really interested to read about your experiences.

  4. Aaron, for any number of reasons I wish you had decided to move east, instead of west, but I wish you every success in this next step. It’s hard not to envy a great life-style decision at this time in your life. Best wishes from everyone at Darien Library, where I’m sure we’ll find a reason to have you visit us again soon.

  5. Heartfelt Congrats!!! My antennas always vibrate when I hear about Oregon: I was born in Portland and spent my formative years in Eugene. It’s such a ding dang beautiful place. Rock On, Walk On, C ya at IL

  6. Congratulations, Aaron! The Pacific Northwest sounds like a perfect fit for you, and I can’t wait to see you shake up the school library world! All the very best to you & Kate :)

  7. Well done! Such times of change! I wish you all the best. You are positioning to really have an impact in young folks’ lives. :-)


  8. Congratulations! I’m so jealous you’re getting to move to Oregon — I grew up in WA and still am not sure what I’m doing sitting in the middle of the country.

  9. Pretty exciting – congrats – the teens will hardly know what hit them in a couple years – have fun at Powell’s every once in a while.

  10. ditto, what he said, what she said, and wow! you’ve only been talking about going west for how long…? good for you for doing it!

    wishing you even greater success on your new adventure!

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