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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leaving Douglas County Libraries

This week I announced to my board and staff that I'm leaving Douglas County Libraries. 

Two years ago, I tried to see if I could give a professional talk, for pay, once every other month. Done. The next year, I did two a month. This year, I've almost hit (a few times over the year) one a week. And boy, it's fun. (It did eat up some of the vacation time I've built up over 23 years.) I've been to Moscow, Pittsburgh, Anchorage, Boston, Miami, Sydney. I learn a lot, it pays well, I meet fascinating people, and I have a chance to deeply explore new issues. In Douglas County, I helped one library district achieve excellence. What I'd really like to do next is help move MANY libraries in that direction. I got into this profession for love, and I'm still in love. This is the best time ever to be a librarian.

So the first thing: I'm around for another 90 days, leaving around mid-January. There's nothing abrupt about it. It's a thoughtful transition. But I am moving on.

The second thing: I leave an organization that is vital, alive, well-funded, with money in the bank, with a brilliant, astute and forward-thinking board, with a staff that is innovative, conscientious and staggeringly accomplished, with a community that is one of the most engaged, active, and supportive in the world, and in an area that is one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous in the universe. 

If you think you have the right mix of skills to be the NEXT director, I strongly encourage you to look here: It will be a while before you see the job listing, but not TOO long. The board wants to move quickly.

The third thing: very soon, I'll be moving full time to writer, speaker, facilitator, workshop leader, consultant. A lot of what I do is immediately applicable to libraries. But much of what I've learned is applicable to a much larger world. My particular interests: leadership training and development (especially for those emerging Millennial generation hires), the management of hiring processes for executives, strategic planning, and - this is key - consultation for the institutions (of ANY size) who are about to do something big. 

I would also add something else: I would like to help public institutions learn how to tell their story. Public relations staff, public information officers, hear me: we have watched the public sector pulled apart for so long. Can we not learn how to tell short, powerful tales that reframe our value, that reclaim our great significance in the public square? [Yes. Call me.]

I open my dance card to the world.


Christie Brandau said...

Jamie, you are an inspirational, talented librarian! Congratulations on your next phase of career, and may your dance card always be full!

claudiajd said...

Congratulations on such a life and career change. Expect to get many calls. Like from me!

Jamie said...

Thanks for the kind words, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Meg said...

And of course, a great big shout out to all the shoulders you are standing on! Especially your amazing family. said...

You are an original, Jamie, a great American, a gentleman and a true leader. I'll miss popping into your office at Philip S Miller... but we'll not loose track! Best fortunes for your next opportunities!

bonniemccune said...

All the best. We only go round once, as far as we remember at least. I'm now writing fiction full-time and loving it.

Hank Long said...

I just got the news from a former co-worker of mine, so my congratulations are more than a bit late. I'm excited for you for your next adventures, and I'm grateful for having known and worked with you for more than a few years, each of which went quicker than I care to admit. Best wishes in your future endeavors, and thanks for your inspiration and contributions to the library world at large! Take care, and be happy.