Archive for the ‘Passé’ Category

28 years, three months, 17 days–and no hours

Friday, September 28th, 2007

In a very minor way, it’s the end of a (personal) era. Around 2 p.m. I turned in my “fob,” card key, corporate credit card and calling card. Around 2:30, I left with the last box of personal stuff from the office.

The post title gives the time I spent as a systems analyst (senior programmer/analyst, always the same job title) at RLG (or after June 30, 2006 the OCLC RLG Service Center), beginning June 11, 1979.

I really began working more-or-less full-time as a library systems person in 1968–June again, if I remember correctly. That would bring the total to 39 years, three months, some days. I could honestly claim “five decades as a library systems professional” (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 0s) and was hoping for six–but things change.

So for now I’m gainfully unemployed. Not for long, I don’t believe, but I’m taking two weeks before starting in on new endeavors. (I’ll announce that endeavor/those endeavors as soon as they’re finalized and approved as public knowledge.)

It’s been an interesting ride. I wasn’t part of the first generation of library automators, but I was part of the second wave. Some day I might write more about that–or maybe not.

I’ve worked with lots of first-rate people and generally enjoyed it thoroughly, learning and contributing along the way. Of course, I’ll continue to work with all those colleagues I’ve gained in the profession as a whole, since my “professional self” is the basis for most future plans.

Future of C&I (& this blog): blue skies

Monday, September 24th, 2007

This post appeared at the same time as the October 2007 Cites & Insights, noting some uncertainties about C&I’s future because my own future in general seemed so uncertain.

As of right now, I’m about 99% certain that C&I will continue–not because of direct sponsorship (still up in the air), but because of a satisfactory “core situation.”

I’ll provide a more complete post when the last tiny uncertainty is cleared away, and probably in coordination with the people I’ll be working for/with. I thought it was important to get this out right away, though: The future’s looking a whole lot brighter.

The future of Cites & Insights

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

This post was part of Bibs & Blather for the October 2007 Cites & Insights (which will probably appear somewhere between this evening and Thursday evening). I removed it as part of the “copyfitting” process (in this case cutting 34 pages down to 30) and because I’ve generally kept “job search” stuff out of C&I.

Those of you who read Walt at random will be aware that my future’s been somewhat uncertain since this spring. I’ve generally kept that set of issues out of Cites & Insights, which may be a mistake. I’ve also generally said that the future of Cites & Insights was not in doubt, barring some personal or general disaster.That was true enough–on the basis that I’d have a secure job until I was ready to retire. That basis no longer exists. As I write this, my future sources of income are largely unknown. Cites & Insightsis sponsored–but (currently) at a level that only makes sense when it’s over and above my salary.Here’s what I can say at the moment:

  • Three conversations should take place in late September or early October. If some or all of those conversations poroduce appropriate results, the future of Cites & Insights will be assured.
  • If that proves not to be the case, I’ll have to do some hard thinking about the future in general.
  • The first hundred issues of Cites & Insights are assured (barring even more unforeseen circumstances). But…well, see the masthead at the end of this issue. [Insertion: That is, the October 2006 issue is Issue 95.]
  • If you care about this stuff, follow Walt at random over the next few weeks. I will certainly post something if things work out as I hope–and I will probably post several things if the future continues to be up in the air. I’ll probably write something here as well, but that’s not likely to happen until late October, and a lot can (and should) happen between now and then.

I care about C&I. I think you do too. I believe it offers significant value to the field. I hope it makes sense to continue doing it.

That’s the text that would have appeared (with the bracketed insertion added). While two of the three “conversations” don’t seem to be happening (that is, they haven’t been scheduled), the third (and possibly the most promising) does seem to be moving along.The last six months have been personally disruptive and revealing. I’ve tried to keep the problems from damaging C&I–and I believe I’ve succeeded: I think the set of issues since April 2007 has been as strong as any in the ejournal’s history. As noted, I’m now thinking it may have been a mistake to shield C&I almost entirely from what I’ve been dealing with–but it’s a little late to stop now.

Postscript Monday, January 24:: Things are looking considerably better. See later post “Future of C&I (& this blog): blue skies”

Post-OCLC: A midterm update

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I wrote this post on May 21, noting that I’ll be out of work as of October 1 (and readily available as of, say, October 15).
It’s just about halfway between those two dates (depending on which two dates you use). It’s long enough after ALA that things should have settled down pretty well. Seems like a good time to say how things are going.

There’s a short answer and a slightly longer answer.

Short answer: Not so well.

Slightly longer answer:

  • There are three maybe-live possibilities, any or all of which could yield satisfactory conclusions. In two cases, I have no idea when or whether I’ll hear anything, or whether what I hear will be mutually satisfactory. In the third, the conversation hasn’t taken place yet. I can’t even guess as to the likelihood that these will lead to success.
  • There are three offers for things that could be small portions of an entirely piecemeal future. I’m pretty certain I’ll take one of them, where it’s a logical extension of what I’m doing. I’m less certain of the other two.
  • Thanks to an old friend and good conversation, I have a better idea how I might go about an entirely piecemeal future–what I would and wouldn’t be comfortable doing, where there might be a market.

If you missed it for some reason, this post sets forth one scenario that would be a “satisfactory conclusion” from my perspective. It’s not the only possibility.

Also, if you missed it for some reason, let me repeat my bribeincentive from this post:

If you provide the contact that results in an offer/arrangement that I take and regard as excellent (or, for that matter, if you make the offer), I’ll send you (or a library or library school of your choice, that wants them) autographed copies of all my books–now and in the future, as long as we stay in touch. Since at least one of the books is really unobtainable, that’s a unique offer. It’s up to whoever makes the offer/arrangement to let me know you were the contact.

I’ll expand that offer, changing “excellent” to “satisfactory.”

What do I mean by satisfactory?

  • I don’t mean a full-time job or equivalent in contract money (although I wouldn’t rule out the right full-time possibility).
  • I don’t even necessarily mean “a good living” (or, by Silicon Valley standards, a living at all). I don’t expect full-time pay for part-time work.
  • I do mean an ongoing arrangement that pays a reasonable sum for value received–and that provides enough stability that I’m able to do the things I think I’m particularly good at, including Cites & Insights and, if it works out, Making it Work.

That final clause is important. I can probably do enough scuffling for pieces–speaking, freelance writing, maybe teaching and training, maybe consulting–to bring in “enough” money. But that scuffling might make it difficult or impossible to do a good job on the stuff I care most about and the area where I believe I offer the most to the field.

I may be slightly discouraged at the moment. That’s probably unfair. These things do take time. I didn’t make it easy–being unwilling to relocate (with some exceptions), not overselling (or, shall we say, optimizing the definition of) my expertise, disdaining Guru or Expert labels. Oh, and being nearly 62. Not that age makes a difference. And it’s still eight weeks before October.

Is Cites & Insights in danger? Not yet–but I’m no longer willing to assert that it will go on no matter what.

Job possibilities and ALA non-schedule

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I was going to post a tentative ALA Annual Conference schedule–but I don’t think so. A lot of that schedule is likely to be fluid, especially if there are other people who would like to talk to me about future possibilities.

If there are such people (and you’re one of them or in contact with one of them), then please get in touch–gmail, waltcrawford–by Thursday morning, preferably by Wednesday afternoon, to set up a meeting. Or, I suppose, sign up for Twitter and “follow waltcrawford1”–but I don’t know whether that will help.

There are more programs than usual that I might attend. Exhibit time is always sort of an unknown. Meanwhile, here’s a non-schedule: When I get there, when I leave, and when I know I won’t be available:

  • Arriving Friday morning (Dulles at 5:20 a.m.)
  • Friday: Not available 4:45 p.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday: Lots of possibilities, but no absolutely blocked spots except that I do have plans 6 p.m. and beyond.
  • Sunday: Not available 1:15-3:15 p.m. (LITA Top Tech Trends ex-“spotter” cameo) and will certainly be at the OCLC Bloggers Salon a substantial portion of 5:45-8 p.m.
  • Monday: Not available 2:45-5:45 p.m.
  • Leaving early Tuesday morning (at Dulles by 7:30 a.m.)

I have 10 or 15 optional events within those unblocked areas, but they’re just that: Optional. If it’s important enough, I could miss them. The most open times in general are late morning through early afternoon Friday and any time Monday until 2:45 or so (or possibly Monday dinner).

Update Thursday: As you might guess, I’ll be pretty much off the air from now through next Tuesday–not posting, not responding to comments, not checking Bloglines, not visiting the LSW Meebo room. I will be Twittering, for what it’s worth (checking the new cell phone every hour or two, not leaving it on)…and we’ll see how that goes. See y’all next week, unless I run into you in DC.

Cites & Insights Plus: One partial “What’s Next?” Scenario

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

First, a quick update on this announcement and this update:

Not really much to say. One more ALA conversation to discuss possible “piecemeal” things. I have, in fact, given in and purchased a cell phone, which will mostly be off, and will provide the number to those who contact me beforehand about getting together at ALA. I may yet set up a Twitter account to serve that purpose as well (the phone is specifically designed for texting, with a QWERTY keyboard too small for thumbing but OK for one-finger typing). Certainly no offers have come “pouring in” that are so wonderful that I’d take them before ALA Annual and give up the discussions…nor was I expecting any.

One reason for a less than stunning flow of offers (besides this being the real world, of course) may be that I’ve been pretty vague about what I’m looking for. There are two reasons for that–both a deliberate attempt to stay open to the widest range of possibilities and being a little uncertain as to The Path I want to follow–including whether that comes down to one path or many.

Still, it might not hurt to flesh out one or two scenarios. So here’s one–one that would not (I believe) lead to a full-time equivalence or anything close to it, but that might represent an interesting part of a whole if some publisher or sponsoring company/agency is interested.

Here’s the scenario:

  • Cites & Insights continues, still free to the reader, still slightly less than predictable, still full of the writing I seem to do best (or at least most). Potentially larger sponsorship; potentially an ad or two within the publication; potentially cross-promotion or reuse of C&I material elsewhere.
  • C&I appears to have an immediate core readership in the 1,500 to 2,000 range, with overall readership over the course of a year or so slowly ramping up to 3,000 or more–except for special cases, which can and have exceeded 10,000 and even 20,000 readers. (I believe Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0” is past the 25,000 mark now.) I assert that these are all actual readers, not just recipients, since it’s hard to justify fetching and printing C&I if you don’t plan to read it.
  • That audience may be the “natural” readership for C&I. It’s a dense, even demanding publication with lengthy essays that require some serious reading and, once in a while, thinking. I assume a fair amount of background on the part of readers. I suspect C&I is both too long and too dense for most library people–which is a reflection on C&I, not on them.
  • At the same time, one newish section of C&I is becoming more important to me and almost unmanageable in terms of source material that I want to discuss and synthesize. It’s also perhaps the most relevant section to a broader range of librarians.
  • Possibility 1: Spin off a separate epublication–let’s call it Making it Work: The Balanced Library Journal for now, although that title could change–incorporating what’s now in “Making it Work” and, possibly, “Library Access to Scholarship.” Aim for at least every other month initially, but probably monthly rather quickly (particularly if there’s actual income associated with it). Most desirable: Free to the end user with a CC BY-NC license (like C&I), and with advertising and/or sponsorship. Less desirable but worth considering: Subscription basis, preferably with a slight-delay open availability.
  • Possibility 2: A separate publication, possibly print, possibly epub, based on Cites & Insights (and/or Making it Work) but with a substantially different approach: Limited length (say 8 or 12 pages per issue, period); shorter and less convoluted essays (most no more than one page, with perhaps one two-page primary essay in each issue), more background as appropriate, more of a “column style” to the essays. Either sponsored with advertising or by subscription; might cover some new ground, but would mostly recast C&I material; would point to C&I for longer/denser coverage. I have no idea what this might be called, but I believe it could reach several thousand librarians and other library people who really (and legitimately) don’t have the time to spend on C&I.
  • C&I Books could also be part of this package, either in its current form or in a more traditional state. I have two projects on the back burner now, and a series of other possibilities for the future.

Possibility 1 might happen anyway, if I wind up in a part-time position (or set of activities) that allows enough time and focus to do this. Possibility 2 cannot happen without someone else’s involvement. I’m not about to start handling subscriptions or fulfillment (or advertising) for several reasons.

I believe this package (in whole or in part) could be attractive to a number of parties–but I’m not sure. I am sure that I want Cites & Insights to stick around. I am sure that I want to write more about “making it work.” I am reasonably certain that I’ve put together a combination of scanning, synthesis, commentary, writing and overall stance that’s unique within the field, even if only by accident. I’d like to build on that, even if only as a piece of a complex whole.

So there’s a scenario. If you’re interested, get in touch. You know the mail system (gmail) and the username (waltcrawford). You know I’d prefer to set up meetings during the ALA Annual Conference and that the more ambitious parts of this concept can’t happen until October 2007 at the earliest.

Otherwise, well, I’m still open to all sorts of possibilities, even as I do background work related to one or two discussions.

Thanks–and an update

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I only wrote one post last week. It’s probably obvious why.

I am deeply indebted to to all of those who posted their own entries pointing to Post-ALA, Post-OCLC: What’s next?. I am humbled by some of the comments made in those posts.

Thanks, Charles W. Bailey, Jr.; thanks, Meredith Farkas; thanks, John Dupuis; thanks, Sarah Houghton-Jan.

Thanks, Steve Lawson; thanks, Rochelle Hartman; thanks, Chris Zammarelli; thanks, Laura Crossett.

Thanks to you too, Mark Lindner and Cindi Trainor and Seth Finkelstein and Iris Jastram.

Did I mention the thanks I owe to Simon Chamberlain and Jessamyn West and Steven M. Cohen and Linda Absher?

Oh, and Gary Price: What can I say?

I certainly need to thank Joshua M. Neff and Jennifer Lang and Steve Oberg and Marlene Delhaye (merci!).

Also thanks to DrWeb and Jennifer Macaulay and David Bigwood and Jennifer Graham and Peter Murray.

If I’ve missed anyone (including people who may yet do posts!), my apologies–and my gratitude. (There’s a phantom post from another Jennifer, but since the link yields a 404 I won’t cite it here.) Fixed: See preceding paragraph.

And, to be sure, thanks to all of you who commented directly at the post.

I’m not quoting from the posts because my head is swelled enough already. I have no comment on any comments made about specific employers, of course.

So what’s happening?

  • I’ve heard from a couple of people with interesting possibilities, at least one of which may prove to be compelling.
  • I’m talking to them at ALA Annual in DC. (I’ll be there Friday morning, June 22, through Monday evening, June 26.)
  • That’s an ideal time for anyone else who wants to talk to me about possibilities. Barring a truly preemptive offer, I won’t make any decisions before ALA Annual–but I could see making a decision right after the conference.
  • If you or someone you know does want to talk to me then, send me email ( and we can arrange a time. Try to do that soon, and certainly no later than Thursday noon, June 21.
  • I’ve never traveled with technology–no cell phone, no PDA, no notebook, no Blackberry. That might change for this occasion–I see an $80 texting-oriented cell phone with a modified “pay as you go” plan that might suit me just fine. If so, I’ll publish the number here or set up (yes) a Twitter mobile account for use during conference(s).
  • I’ve thought more about what would constitute an “excellent” or “ideal” future, either with a core employer or piecemeal. It’s not primarily about the money. It’s about the employer, personal growth, adding value, and doing something worthwhile–and, to be sure, being fairly compensated for my work. I’ll let it go at that for now.
  • Just to make things interesting, here’s a bribe an incentive: If you are provide the contact that results in an offer/arrangement that I take and regard as excellent (or, for that matter, if you make the offer), I’ll send you (or a library or library school of your choice, that wants them) autographed copies of all my books–now and in the future, as long as we stay in touch. Since at least one of the books is really unobtainable, that’s a unique offer. It’s up to whoever makes the offer/arrangement to let me know you were the contact.

That’s about it.We return now to our regular posting (with at least two more posts this week maybe more).I’m working on COAP2: This Time It’s for Keeps, a special (oversize) pre-Annual issue of Cites & Insights that’s devoted to a single topic and mostly, but not entirely, reprints. It should be out this week.

And did I mention my gratitude? Thanks again.

Post-ALA, post-OCLC: What’s next?

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Ever thought you or one of the groups you work for or with could use a Walt Crawford?

Here’s your chance.

The RLG-OCLC transition will be complete in September. I’ve received a termination notice from OCLC, effective September 30, 2007.

I’m interested in exploring new possibilities. For now I’m trying not to narrow the options too much.

The basics: A new position could start any time after October 15, 2007 (possibly earlier). January to April 2008 might be ideal as a starting date, but earlier or later is quite possible.

I’m looking for a mutually-beneficial situation, which could be part time, could be full time, could be based on sponsorship of current writing and possible expansion to new areas, could be contract or consulting. I’m open to an exclusive working relationship–but also to more piecemeal possibilities.

Writing is important to me–but so is sensemaking, at the heart of what I’ve done at work and professionally for a few decades. I find numbers interesting (particularly exposing weaknesses in statistical assertions and finding the numbers that make most sense for an organization) and understand them well. I’ve been analyzing, synthesizing, designing (sometimes programming) and communicating throughout my career. I’m interested in the whole range of issues surrounding the intersections of libraries, policy, media and technology, and have demonstrated my effectiveness as a writer and speaker in those areas.

You can get a good sense of what I’ve published here, including my 15 (to date) books and many of the 400+ articles and columns.

I would certainly consider a short-term (say two to four years) situation–but if you have something that makes sense for both of us for a longer term, I have no set retirement date.

If I had to name an ideal, it would probably be roughly two-thirds time with benefits (or full time if Cites & Insights was considered part of the job. But that’s an ideal; an excellent situation could be much more part time.

Clear limitation: There are very few places we’d be willing to relocate, most of them in temperate parts of the Pacific Rim–that is, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Hawaii, or maybe Australia or New Zealand. Otherwise, for most possibilities outside of Silicon Valley (or the Tri-Valley area around Livermore), I’d be looking to telecommute–and perfectly willing to travel on a reasonable basis.

If you have acquaintances who are unlikely to see this blog, within “groups that work for/with libraries”–publishers, vendors, search-engine makers, consortia, what have you–where you think I might be a good fit, I’d be delighted if you told them about this. If you’d like to blog about it, please do, saying whatever you like. (Schadenfreude? Be my guest.)

I don’t have a proper resume. I suspect I’m more likely to be hired by someone who knows who I am or is more interested in a full vita, available here. (OK, I’ll be 62 in September and I have an international reputation that is only slightly related to my daytime job: Maybe not the ideal combination for a classic “hit ’em with the keywords” resume.)

The brief bio that appears on my home page also appears below.

Offers, inquiries, questions, comments should go to me at my address: waltcrawford. If you’d like to talk during ALA Annual, let me know: Same email address.

For those of you who care about Cites & Insights: I have every intention of continuing and, with luck, improving C&I. I have every intention of keeping it free to the reader. I’ve been thinking about a spinoff in an area that I find increasingly important and that requires more room and time than I’ve been giving it–and that spinoff might or might not be free, depending on arrangements that come to light. Naturally, finding the right position will help ensure the future of C&I.

Here’s the brief bio:

Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media.Crawford was for many years Senior Analyst at RLG, focusing on user interface design and actual usage patterns for end-user bibliographic search systems. Through September 30, 2007, he works on RLG-OCLC transition and integration issues.Crawford is the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He also maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random.

Crawford’s books include Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change (2007), First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession (2003), Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow’s Libraries (1999), Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality (with Michael Gorman, 1995), and eleven others going back to MARC for Library Use: Understanding the USMARC Formats(1984).

Crawford writes the “disContent” column in EContent Magazine and has written columns for American Libraries, Online and Library Hi Tech. In all, he has written more than 400 library-related articles and columns appearing in a range of library publications.

Crawford was recently cited as one of the 31 most frequently cited authors in library literature 1994-2004 (the only American writer on that list outside academic libraries). In 1995, he received the American Library Association’s LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education, followed by the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997. He was president of the Library and Information Technology Association in 1992/93.

More information is available at Crawford’s home page.

Bloglines upheaval: What’s happening

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

I swapped out a “selective blogroll” quite a while ago, in favor of the “Blogs I read” link in the right-hand column. That link brings up the public portion of my Bloglines subscriptions, which is about 99% of my total Bloglines set.

If you happen upon that link over the next few weeks, the results may seem more bizarre than usual–and more variable than usual. I wouldn’t be surprised if the list swelled to 400 or 500 entries at some point.

No, I haven’t suddenly gone blog-crazy (or more so than usual). If anything, I have less time for blog-reading: As of yesterday, I’m back to full-time work from the 75% time imposed last fall.

What’s happening is the lengthy process of data gathering for “Looking at Liblogs,” this year’s version of “Investigating the Biblioblogosphere.”

Right now–starting Sunday and, I hope, ending today [we don’t do road trips on long weekends, and I was at work yesterday anyway] or tomorrow–I’m gathering candidates. This year’s version is going to be very different from last year’s (not hierarchical for one thing, and a few people have opted out, for another), and one major difference is that I’m looking at “the great middle,” excluding not only blogs with the fewest Bloglines subscribers but also those with the most Bloglines subscribers.

I’ve already made the first cut, based on checking total Bloglines subscribers for the 240 candidate blogs already in my Bloglines set, assuming that–at least at the high end–these are representative of the field as a whole. [“The field” is roughly as defined last year: Blogs by individual library people and small groups of library people, excluding “official” blogs from libraries, clearly sponsored blogs, and large group blogs.] The current version of Bloglines makes it much easier to estimate total subscriptions, as the subscription window shows counts for each feed Bloglines can identify. (I exclude comment feeds, and if there are more than half a dozen non-comment feeds, I may give up and just take the highest group.)
After determining the apparent subscription count for those 240 candidates (which may or may not have included some that have opted out; that’s irrelevant to this initial calculation), I looked at a first cut in two different ways: the top and bottom 10% in real terms, and the top and bottom 10% in normalized-subscription terms. (That is: For the second cut, I did a quick pivot table on the Bloglines #, thus collapsing multiple cases of a single number.)

I took the outer limit in both cases–actual blogs for the lower limit, # of subscriptions for the upper limit.

Now I’m doing the second pass, checking blogs that I wasn’t already subscribing to in three different sources, although I don’t anticipate picking up much past the first new source. The sources: The LISWiki Weblogs page; then the Open Directory Libraries page (if there are any new ones there); then the Pubsub libraries list (again, if there’s anything new left).

For any blog that’s had at least one post since February 2006, that meets my other criteria, and that has between 16 and 689 Bloglines subscriptions, I’m subscribing and jotting down the subscription total. Then, I’ll do a second cut, since the first cut will clearly leave more blogs than I can possibly deal with.

So the link will yield an ever-growing list, which will include some blogs that aren’t candidates. Then, the list will shrink somewhat, until I start the second, much more extended portion of the data gathering (looking at other reach measures, then looking at metrics for the blog). I’ll delete blogs (or make them private) little by little during that process. Chances are, I’ll wind up with more subscriptions than I started out with.

Note that this year I’m including non-English blogs, at least initially. I may not be able to describe the blogs as well, but this year’s project may not include much descriptive material anyway.

One wholly unanswered question at this point: How I’ll arrange the blogs for the article itself. It won’t be by apparent reach. Alphabetical also favors certain bloggers (not me, to be sure!). Since the article won’t appear until mid-August or later, I can figure that out a whole lot later.

Meanwhile, happy 4th of July to all readers (except those for whom it’s already the 5th). It may be a holiday in the U.S., but it’s the 4th of July everywhere, right?

Oops: Two things I’d intended to mention:

  • Early and maybe unsurprising finding: If given the choice, Bloglines users–at least library types–tend to prefer Atom feeds to other RSS feeds.
  • Turns out I have a lot more subscribers here than I realized…336, where I was counting 137.

27 and change

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Note the category on this post–probably the last time that category will be used, and probably the last post I’ll make while employed by RLG. (Unless I do the next “megapack” disc mini-review before midnight tonight…and yes, one’s coming, but probably not today.)

“27 and change”? That’s how long I have been/was at RLG. My vita turns out to include a small portion of what I’ve actually worked on during those 27+ years, and offers little sense of the changes during that time. Nor will I bore you with that long list of successes, “failures” (projects that didn’t result in ongoing services, and “negative successes” (cases where I helped make the case not to proceed with a project that appeared certain to do more harm than good).

“and change” also looks to the future. I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing for OCLC–but I’m pretty sure it won’t be what I’ve been doing (except for transitional work), and that’s almost certainly a good thing. (My final job at RLG, designing and implementing internal activity reports and salvaging/refining/completing customer reports, was not one I would have chosen, but it was another change that turned out to be interesting and worthwhile in its own right.)

A few weeks ago (May 31) we had the final RLG picnic/BBQ, with a commemorative T-shirt and chance to take leftover conference tchotchkes (we did a great “” refrigerator magnet/clip once, along with all the pencils, magnifying rulers, RCM puzzle, and various other stuff). A bunch of “alums” (people who’d already retired or left under other circumstances) showed up.

Wednesday, we had the final RLG pot luck. I’ve never been much for the noontime potlucks, particularly after I was cut to 75% time and took off early most afternoons. This time, I went.

Today, there’s a final something-or-other going on that began at 4 p.m. at a beer-and-burger place up in the hills. I didn’t go, for a variety of reasons. (I’m not much for that kind of farewell, and I’m even less for either driving home after even one drink or hanging around there without drinking. And this being my last “part-time Friday,” I left work at 11 a.m.; it would seem odd to go back at 4 p.m., even if “work” is at a hangout.)

Monday, some portion of the remaining/ongoing staff will be there starting the long transition–probably not all that many, given that Tuesday’s July 4 and lots of people will take their first personal day under new employment to make a 4-day weekend. I’ll return to full time at that point.

Some time this weekend, or maybe later, I’ll reorganize my personal website to make appropriate affiliation changes. That process will continue, to be sure, as we get OCLC.ORG email addresses, as things firm up and change, as life goes on.

It’s been one heck of a run. I’d hoped for 30 years at RLG, but I don’t believe anyone made that landmark. Maybe a new milestone should be “six decades in library automation”–which means working more-or-less full time until 2011. That doesn’t seem implausible. (“Six decades” does not mean 60 years in this case; it means I’ll have been doing this stuff continuously and within six different decades.)

With any luck at all, you’ll see me as excited about my future at OCLC as I’ve been at times about events at RLG. With a little more luck, you’ll see me more excited about the future.

Meanwhile, it’s the weekend.