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Starting 2015

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Here we are in the last gasps of 2014, and I feel like doing both a bit of retrospection and a look forward and what’s coming in the new year for me. Partially because I’m excited about the things I’m doing, and partially because I am looking forward to meeting awesome new librarians and attending some new conferences.

Looking back at 2014, it’s the year where my professional life changed completely. After nearly a decade at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I left my position as a tenured Associate Professor and struck out on my own as a consultant, speaker, writer, and maker. I realize how unbelievably lucky I am to be able to do this, just the ability to take that risk is a privilege that I am aware of every day. I am thankful for the fact that it is going very well. In the last 6 months I have:

  • Completed my first major grant project (the LibraryBox v2.1 Knight Foundation Prototype grant)
  • Published a library technology report with ALA TechSource entitled 3D Printers for Libraries
  • Spoken at Warren County Public Library in Bowling Green, KY for their annual Staff Day
  • Attended an unconference for Code4Lib DC where I led an open hardware workshop teaching intro to arduino for librarians
  • Went to 3 separate Maker Faires (Nashville, Atlanta, and Chattanooga) where I talked to several thousand people about LibraryBox
  • Attended DLF Forum for the first time, speaking on a panel about Makerspaces in academic libraries
  • Won a consulting bid to help build a brand new public library, acting as the technology consultant for the project
  • Managed to make it way out west for LITA Forum 2014 in Albuquerque, NM and delivered a workshop on customizing and hacking LibraryBox
  • Presented a webinar for Infopeople on LibraryBox, focusing on the new code release
  • Completed a complicated analysis of possible areas of technology-driven collaboration for two academic libraries
  • Spoken at the Hoover Public Library Staff Day in Hoover, AL (a spectacular library and bunch of librarians, btw)

Even with all that, 2015 is shaping up to be even busier. Here’s what I’ve got on tap for just the first 3 months:

  • Once again attending and reporting from CES in Las Vegas from Jan 4-9! I’ll be posting soon about this, as I’m doing something slightly different this year…news on that in the next week or so.
  • On January 13th, I’ll be doing a webinar on privacy and information security and libraries…again, more news on that ASAP
  • I’ll be attending the ALA Midwinter conference in Chicago, and I can’t wait to see everyone there
  • I’m also attending my very first Code4Lib conference! This one I am particular excited about, as I’ve been involved with the community on and off over the years, and just never made it to a conference. This should be amazing.
  • Finally, rounding out the conferences for the first quarter of 2015 is The Collective, a brand-spanking new library conference being held just up the road from me in Knoxville, TN. I’m excited about what the organizers are trying to do, and am very happy to be supporting it.

And on top of that, I’ve going to be keynoting the New Jersey Library Association conference in April, doing a preconference at Computers in Libraries that same month, traveling to Idaho for the first time in May to help with a library-driven Maker Faire, and heading to Missouri in early June to keynote for the MOBIUS Consortium conference.

Whew.

If you are attending one or more of the things I’ll be attending in 2015, drop me a line, I would love to meet up and talk about librarying with you. And even with all of that above, if you are interested in talking to me about helping your library or conference in any way, please let me know. I am excited that I have some small part in trying to make libraries better everywhere.

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