Farewell to Preservation

Preservation has been very, very good to me.

A week ago I tossed all my notes from my Intro to Conservation course into recycling. (I kept my very marked up copy of a Michele Cloonan article.) I’ve taught this class a few times, but will no more. It was just another step in my ongoing farewell to the world of library preservation.

Being engaged with the issues of preservation was my life for a number of years. It was a great adventure. It was a chance to explore, to learn, to experiment, and to meet and engage with people who are deeply passionate about their work.

But, my center of gravity has been shifting over the last year or so. Preservation topics just don’t enliven my spirit anymore. Some of this is due to a growing inner dissatisfaction with the current model of understanding preservation. And some of it is the shifts in inner life and perspective that can happen as one heads deeper into mid-life.

Ten years ago, as I was toying with the idea of a career change a wise person asked me “Are you done with your work?” After some reflection I realized “No, I have more I want to do with my library/preservation work.” Today, I’d answer that question with a resounding “Yes.”

In a little more than a month I officially leave my job, my library career, and the rewarding work of preservation for new adventures. I am deeply grateful for the experiences I’ve had and especially for the wonderful people I’ve learned to know along the way.

Change is constant and beneficial.