New Position, New Endeavors 14

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.



14 thoughts on “New Position, New Endeavors

  • kate


    A friend who is finishing medical school posted this on Facebook recently: First, choose from the options that thrill you. Then, choose the ones that also teach you. And from these, choose the scariest.

    Easier said than done, but I’m so glad libraryland has people like you who keep challenging themselves and all of us.

    Thank you for sharing your insights as you take on your next challenge. As always, you continue to inspire!

  • Kathryn Greenhill

    Congratulations Michael – both on the appointment and on taking the leap. I look very forward to what you bring to a wholey online instruction environment and any reflections you post here.

  • Steven MacCall

    Go get ’em Michael! In time, I’ll be very interested in hearing your views about SJSU’s MLIS education model based on this type of geographically-distributed faculty configuration … I’m intrigued!

  • Marleah

    Congrats on the job! I am currently in the SJSU MLIS program, set to graduate in August this year and working on my e-portfolio capstone project this semester. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the program and find that it has a great balance of theory and application. When I started the program, I was working part-time in a public library, and I am now working full-time in the same public library and I have found things in every class that I can apply immediately to my job, which I love.

    You’ll be a great addition to the faculty, and I hope you enjoy it!

  • Monica (Wolf) Dombrowski

    That is great news for you! You remain one of my two favorite professors at Dominican and had a profound impact on me and my ideas about technology when I was in your class. I’m glad you have a chance to spread the message through a California state school, and in a medium that shows the truth of what you taught us: that librarians and library educators can help patrons in all kinds of ways from all kinds of places.

    Best of luck!

  • Maric Kramer

    Welcome to SJSU SLIS, Michael! I’ve followed your blog for some time, and I think you’ll make a fantastic addition to our faculty! I hope to be able to take one of your classes before I graduate next year. Congratulations!

  • Allison Mennella

    This is such a great opportunity–congratulations!. I fell in love with SJPL and SJS when I did the Brand Monitoring assignment. I’ve even been looking for employment opportunities at SJPL for after graduation (you never know!) I think your personality and teaching style will fit in quite nicely there, and I look forward to hearing all about your new adventures.

  • Colette

    I’m starting the San Jose State MLIS program in the Fall, and, as someone who has followed your blog for awhile now, I’m so pleased you’ll be on the Faculty there!

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