Yes, it’s that time again! May 16, 2014 is “Wear Your LifeJacket to Work Day” [PDF]. Officially called “personal flotation devices” or PFDs for short, lifejackets are designed to keep your head out of water in case you end up in a river, lake, ocean, or anywhere there is a lot of water. The day is meant to demonstrate how easy it is to wear a lifejacket so that more people do when they boat.
Having been a commercial whitewater river guide, and a private boater ever since, I know how important a good PFD is. One time I swam most of Granite Rapid in the Grand Canyon, after flipping the boat with my father in it, which neither of us will ever forget. Our lifejackets quite literally saved us.
So…yeah. Wearing it to work one day a year seems fitting. Also, “hanging together” is really important in a paddle boat. And we’re partial to hanging together around here at the OCLC Research Library Partnership. It’s how we think we can best solve the problems and seize the opportunities that face research libraries today. Together. And in concert. Just like in a paddle boat on the river. Somehow I think our New Zealand colleagues understand this better than most.
But today I’m not in the office, so I took this picture in my home office. My colleagues might be celebrating the day as well, since most of them are no strangers to lifejackets. Here’s a picture of some of them on the South Fork of the American River: