Thankful

November 24th, 2010 by Merrilee

In the US, we are on the edge of the verge of the Thanksgiving holiday. Here in the Bay Area, traffic has been lighter than normal all week, as if everyone has already left town (maybe they’ve all decamped to the Sierras, where snow has been falling to the delight of our local ski aficionados).

It’s a time for reflection and giving thanks. I have a lot to be thankful for, both in my personal life and at work. I’ll save my personal thanks for the dinner table tomorrow, but I’ll share the work parts with you before I leave today.

I’m thankful to work with the bestest, smartest, most supportive colleagues ever. It’s been another massively productive year in OCLC Research, and I’m proud to have been part of it. If you want proof, check out our semi-annual highlights (keeping in mind that it only represents half the year).

I’ve been part of three terrific events — our Annual Meeting and Symposium, the Collaboration Forum, and our European Partner Forum, Moving the Past into the Future. At our events, I get to hang out with my other bestest, smartest colleagues, those of you in the RLG Partnership. I learn so much from practitioners; you inspire me to do good work every day.

I get to be part of great projects. This year, I hung onto Jackie and Kitty’s coattails as they pulled together findings and action items following on the 2009 survey of special collections and archives in North America. Taking our Pulse is a landmark piece of work, and I’m proud to have contributed from the sidelines. I have my own projects, but I really enjoy basking in the glory of all the work that goes on around me.

For those who have moved on, I’m thankful for time together. G√ľnter will be starting in his new position at the Smithsonian next month, and we’ve just learned that John MacColl will be leaving us for a position at St Andrews University in February. Saying goodbye to great colleagues is always bittersweet, but I look forward to having an inside ear in important places!

I’m thankful that we’re always trying new things. We just launched a YouTube channel as a way to get the word out in new (and fun!) ways. We also put our toe in the water with “virtual events” — Undue Diligence had participation via WebEx, and the Collaboration Forum had a live video feed. I found both of these events to be a nice compliment to our ongoing webinar series, which are entirely virtual. In challenging economic times, I’m grateful that I work at an organization that can help facilitate learning and sharing virtually.

I’m thankful for many things, but most of all, the opportunity to think and discuss and share ideas around topics that are not only interesting but impactful and sometimes even transformational. I can’t think of another organization that would support work in exactly this area, so I’m thankful that I somehow seem to have landed in just the right spot!

If you are in the US, I wish you a great holiday and look forward to hearing what you are thankful for. For the rest of you, enjoy a couple days respite from our emails and phone calls!

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