glory days

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I'm in my hotel room, getting ready for bed while my iPod mini plays songs on shuffle. Right now, Bruce Springsteen is singing "Glory Days," a song I love but haven't listened to in ages. And it got me thinking not about high school, but about library school.

It's odd being at a library conference without the bulk of my library posse...a group of tech-savvy librarians that coalesced in LITA in the late 1980s when many of us were students or recent alums of the University of Michigan School of Information and Library Studies (at least two name changes ago; it's now the School of Information).

For years and years we've gathered at ALA conferences--for dinner, drinking, and occasional debauchery. During those years we've married and divorced (not each other, thankfully), changed jobs and career paths and addresses. We've gotten older, too. We don't drink quite as much as we used to, or go out quite as late.

The part that's the hardest for me to come to terms with cognitively. We're not the young turks at the conferences anymore...we're a bona fide old guard. We're library directors, business owners, and pundits. We're the ones giving the keynote speeches. I can remember vividly the night that two of us ended up accidentally crashing the LITA president's reception in New Orleans, and feeling so completely out of place. Fast forward to today, when at least two of our crowd have been LITA presidents themselves (including my companion that night), and the bulk of us have been on the board at least once.

Here at Internet Librarian, I see the next posse hanging in the halls. They're talking about blogs and flickr and They're laughing out loud at the stodginess around them (as well they should), and carving out their own space. And I find that I'm not at all jealous. I love seeing them blaze their own paths, create their own disruptive force. I don't want to go back to who and where I was fifteen years ago. But I am oh so glad for the friendships that were forged during those conference romps, and the memories that remain. I can only hope that this new group of go-getters will have as many joys and successes in the profession that we've had.

So here's to you, my glory day friends. You know who you are.

2 TrackBacks

...and head home from Monterey in the morning...From Liz Lawley, keynoter and blogger... Here at Internet Librarian, I see the next posse hanging in the halls. They�re talking about blogs and fl... Read More

...and head home from Monterey in the morning...From Liz Lawley, keynoter and blogger... Here at Internet Librarian, I see the next posse hanging in the halls. They�re talking about blogs and ... Read More


Liz, this post really spoke to me. Although I can't say we ran in exactly the same crowd, I'm of that generation and I could have written this if I'd thought to do it (but not as well, certainly). As I look around at the new Turks coming along, I'm content. The future will be in good hands indeed.

Thank you. And as someone from the Rochester area, I hope to be able to run into you some time. Are you here at NYLA by chance?

Oh yeah...I hear ya, Liz!

Nothing made me feel like more of a young Turk than that LITA President's panel that Paul Peters organized for ALA that had Bruce Sterling and David Brin talking...and yes, now we're definitely old school - hopefully in all of the good senses of the term (like Grandmaster Flash, and yes, the Boss too).

If you want to interact with more of the young guard, come on over to the UW while you're still in town - we've got such great students and young staff and faculty it's an honor to get to hang with them.

Cheers -

- Oren


That was one of the best LITA panels *evah*.

And I still miss Paul, terribly.

Oh yes, I feel the same about Paul - definitely one of the formative influences on the course of my career and whole intellectual gestalt, and a giant role model for leadership by force of keen intellect along with gentle and human personality.

drop me a note and we'll see if we can't chat and create some opportunity to get you over here to talk .

Cheers -

- Oren

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on October 25, 2005 10:56 PM.

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