Moving AlongI have an old announcement to make: I have taken a new position with the Florida International University Libraries. I am the new Web Services Librarian with the Information & Research Services Department.
I say this is an old announcement because if you know me personally, you already know this info. It has also been updated on all my Social Media profiles, so if you're following me then this might be old news. But it is news I am still super excited about.
Here's a picture of my office decor:
Here's an interesting little factoid: FIU was recently named the second-best place to work in Florida behind Publix by Forbes Magazine.
A History LessonWhile I am new to the position, I am not new to FIU Libraries.
My first gig was in a computer lab in the Reference department (before its name was changed to I&RS). I also worked in the Juvenile Collection/Curriculum Lab. After a few organizational changes I ended up working full-time for the Division of IT at FIU—that's how I was able to put myself through graduate school (that & my wife who also worked at FIU which brought income and a discount for Family health coverage).
It was at FIU that I decided to become a librarian. I observed the librarians in Reference. I was impressed with their vast knowledge (especially at the age of 19, but still, it's vast). I knew that this was something I wanted to do some day.
All in all, I spent nine (9) working years at FIU before leaving for Fort Myers. And now I am back! And FIU has welcomed me back with wide open arms. (In my two weeks on the job, I've been officially welcomed 3 times in front of various groups and countless times on a personal level.)
Where I WasBy definition, no two places could possibly be exactly the same. There are a lot of differences between the Fort Myers Beach Free Public Library and the Florida International University Libraries. In fact, they are completely different from one another. Just the sheer size of each institution can account for these differences.
Please note that I do not intend to disparage FMBPL. Though I am not happy with how I was treated on the way out, I am grateful for the opportunity they afforded me when nobody else offered me employment. I worked hard for them and feel like my contributions both technically and pedagogically left the place better and more enriched than when I started. I certainly am a better librarian today than I was on day 1.
I suppose the takeaway here is that work environment is a critical part of the job search. You can make more money, but if the environment does not suit your disposition then it may not be a good fit. You may not be happy if going to work is a drag. When I took the position at FMB, I knew the Public library was not my first choice. I respect the public library. I believe it is a critical component of civic health. I also now know that it is not somewhere that I fit in, personally.
Where I Am HeadedI will be taking the year to get acclimated to my new position. It is new on many levels, not the least of which being university faculty as opposed to staff and the different responsibilities related to that position. During this period of time, I will be welcoming my third child into this world.
Sometime in 2017, I plan to begin my Ph.D. That will probably keep me occupied well into 2019/2020. By then, I'll have to figure out my future once again.
Of course, these are my plans and they are always subject to change...