I don’t tend towards the personal on this site, but sometimes ya just gotta. I have accepted a new job! Starting in October, I will be the Digital Branch & Services Manager (read the job ad, if you’re interested) at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. I’ll be in charge of all things digital – including the website (and building a new, extremely cool library 2.0 site – stay tuned on that one) and the IT department.
What did I like about this job? Listen to this: ” … lead a lighly skilled cross-disciplined staff in using new technologies to translate traditional library services into a digital, Library 2.0 format and provide innovative digital library service to our community.” To me, that sounds extremely fun, and really meshes with my digital-services-creation goals.
I also liked how they are treating the IT department and the web team in our emerging techie world. Some library IT departments are treated as a separate, supporting function of the library – and not really included as a department that serves the public. And no one really knows what to do with a web team – some have separate departments, some divide content and structure-type jobs (the web programmers go with IT, the content developers go somewhere else), and some are stuck in really strange areas (I’ve seen one library that lumped web services with the cataloging department!).
But Topeka has done something I think is ingenious – they changed their focus, so rather than placing the Digital Branch team within the IT department, they included the IT team as part of the Digital Branch. Maybe semantics, maybe not that new … but that little switch in thinking makes a ton of sense to me. And so I’m also pretty stoked about that!
OK – what does this mean for davidleeking.com? Probably not much – I still plan to talk about the same stuff I always talk about (and hope to actually have examples of cool things when I talk – Topeka already has blogs and a myspace account!). Postings might slow down for awhile – I have to move a family, sell a house, buy a house, tie up loose strings at my current job, start a new job … and do quite a few presentations, too!
Then again, I might just drink a few more cups of coffee, stay up late, and post something while I’m packing boxes, working on presentations, doing touch-up painting, and signing HR forms… either way, stay tuned for much more fun stuff from davidleeking.com!