Earlier today, I sat in on a meeting of the St. Vrain Blended Libraries Action Research Group. That’s a big name, but the group is a group of teacher librarians, school and district folks, and administrators who are rethinking the role of the library in our 21st Century schools. They’re standing up an action research project and a prototyping and design process around their explorations, and will be sharing their work as they go.
The conversation this morning was infectious. A suggestion about space led to talk about task and inquiry about the way that students will ultimately use the spaces that these dedicated professionals want to design and fiddle with. The excitement was visible.
I was reminded that this work was another generation or iteration of the work that my colleague Michelle and I started together quite a while back as we set out to redefine what it meant to “do instructional technology” in the St. Vrain Valley School District. It felt good to know that our hard work lives on in conversations like this one. I really enjoyed watching a colleague who was once a participant in that professional learning environment shine as a facilitator in the group.
And this meeting seemed the right push for me to tell you about a transition I’m making right now.
On May 1st, pending some logistical and contractual details, I’ll be leaving the St. Vrain Valley School District to become the IT manager of a public library district here in Colorado. I’ll be managing a great team of folks to support the information infrastructures of a wicked progressive library. I’ll also keep my hands in some curriculum projects and some other educational partnerships.
Somebody told me, when I made the announcement to some current co-workers, that I’d really enjoy “switching careers.” I pushed back on that. I’ve been in the learning business for fourteen years now, be it in schools, libraries and community spaces, public, private, or otherwise. Now, as I head to a public library, I’m heading to a new sort of classroom, and students who all have chosen to do some learning.
That should be pretty darn fun.
I’m looking forward to the move. I hope those of you who read my blog, my teachers and co-learners, will continue to follow along. As I said when I left the classroom:
I’m kind of counting on you. This blog and the connections that I’ve made through it are a big reason why I’ve learned enough to be a viable candidate for this job. In some ways, this space is my own personal professional development school. As I get acclimated to my new position, I’ll probably be asking lots of questions and seeking information and guidance.
So here I go again. Here we go again. Let’s go figure out the next great thing.1