Category Archives: Michael’s Musings

Happy 9th Birthday Tame the Web!

I missed it by two days, but I wanted to acknowledge that TTW turned 9 on Sunday. Here’s the first post - back in the OLD TTW archives in iBlog format (remember that?) I want to send a big shout out and thank you to everyone who has read the blog, commented and participated here at TTW in various ways. I appreciate it. I also greatly appreciate the wonderful contributors who have signed on to write for TTW as my time for blogging has decreased over the years.

I grabbed my contribution to the Passion Quilt meme as an image for this post because I think it really sums up what TTW has been about for all these years.

Thanks to everyone. :-)

TTW Nominated for Edublogs

I am honored that Tame the Web has been nominated for Best library / librarian blog 2011 at The Edublog Awards site. The other nominees are some stellar blogs within our field and I’m knocked out to be among them.

However – I must note that TTW is much more now than just me, it’s also our TTW Contributors and TTW Guest Authors. You may have recently read posts by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke or guest contributor Dr. Troy Swanson that generated a lot of discussion and interest. As I mentioned on the recent podcast, Jessamyn Wests’s sage advice to “use your blog powers for good” is one of the driving forces behind everything we do here at TTW. Sending out the voices of our contributors and guests is important to me.

If you enjoy the content and conversation here, I would really appreciate it if you would consider voting for TTW this year.

New Position, New Endeavors

What challenge will you seek out today? How will you continue to learn? Maybe next to my “still learning” plaque, I’ll place a Post-it as another reminder: “Find your next challenge.”

Last Thursday I accepted an offer to join the full time faculty at San Jose State University School of Library & Information Science. On Monday, I resigned my appointment at Dominican GSLIS effective in August 2011. This has been an incredible few weeks of pondering, making decisions, and seeking a challenge.

Yes, I wrote “Seek a Challenge” for my Office Hours column at LJ about the decision to apply for this position.

The onus for change lies with both students and LIS faculty. Students should provide constructive evaluations of their learning experience. Faculty should respond with curricular changes and updated course offerings as quickly as possible. Library school administration should enable these conversations about change in an open, transparent process. LIS programs must be nimble and quick if they are to survive in the current economy.

The program at SJSU is entirely online. I will be able to live in Indiana and teach, participate in school activities and work on my research agenda. I will travel four times a year to San Jose for faculty retreats. I’ve been drawn more and more to models of online learning such as this. The position I’ve accepted – focused on emerging technologies – seems a perfect fit for the type of teaching and research I want to do. I plan to continue  and broaden my work looking at Learning 2.0 programs in libraries as well as other areas ripe for research related to emerging tech.

It’s difficult to leave Dominican, however. The mission – focused on love and truth – is a strong one and has illuminated my teaching and focus on the heart for libraries. I wrote this in a message to the faculty, staff and all those who support teaching and learning at Dom:

Thank you for the opportunity to teach for Dominican the past five years. It has been a great experience filled with learning, collegiality and support from the entire community. It is a bittersweet moment.

I wish all my students and the faculty and staff at Dominican the very best.

I will continue to focus on the heart and the possibility for human connection via technology – in teaching and for libraries as I make this transition to San Jose State. I’m also eager to keep scanning the horizon to see what the next big thing will do to our profession.

 

 

Take Heart

Tony Tallent, Director of Literacy and Learning at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC sends along a poem by bell hooks that speaks to me:

…take hold

take heart

and enter here

at this point

where truth

was once denied.

Thanks Tony!

Are you a cynic or a builder?

This seems so appropriate for this time of year:

http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/how-will-you-use-your-gifts-in-2011/

Jeff Bezos had some questions in a commencement speech given this year – they ring especially true to me:

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I’m reminded of many things: Jessamyn West telling me to use my “blog powers for good.” A wise friend reminding me of advice I often give: “Follow your heart.”

Are you a cynic? A builder? Are you bluffing? Or are you sincere?

Thanks Buffy!