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California: Third Time’s the Charm!

We’re headed back to California! I have a job as library director at Holy Names University in Oakland, starting October 30.

Ok, to put this news in context…

A few months back Sandy and I had a series of family discussions, and we realized that we were in agreement on a change of strategy to move to a place where Sandy could find employment and to be closer to the large urban areas we’ve always preferred.  Northern California has always been first on that list for me, and Sandy grew to love it too.

Also, I have greatly enjoyed my work  at Equinox, and consider myself a part of the open source community forever, but I really wanted to return to the kind of job that has most suited me — leading a small, nimble library organization into the future. I want to settle in and do amazing things.  Just what remains to be seen (or, more literally, interpreted from needs assessments and strategic planning), but I see this new position as an opportunity to pull  together everything I have ever learned about anything and apply it at one of the most crucial moments in history for libraries.

We then backburnered all these ideas while I plunged into a particularly demanding (and fun) period in my work at Equinox, and it was not until late August that I roused myself enough to begin checking library job postings (though a couple of times people floated opportunities past my radar screen, and I felt like Goldilocks: no, not that chair… no, not THAT chair, either…).

I remember a friend saying that we “couldn’t” leave Tallahassee because we “couldn’t”  sell our house. My thoughts at that moment (not expressed out loud) were that the only things we really had to do in life were pay taxes and (eventually) die.  We have a lovely house in a bucolic park district, and if we can’t sell it, some lucky tenants are going to really enjoy it.

Anyway, a number of things came together very suddenly.  And I deeply appreciate our good fortune in being able to return to California. In fact, I am humbled by it.

These have not been wasted years for us. They’ve been hard years, but those are usually the learning years.  I have acquired skills and experience these past three years that I wouldn’t have learned any other way, and met people I consider friends for life.

I’m going to miss Meyers Park, and the beer tastings at New Leaf Market, and the cardinals at the birdfeeder, and the Shell Oyster Bar, and my dear, dear writing friends; but I will tuck all of this in my shoebox of memories and carry it with me as we head west, retracing our steps back home.

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