It’s finally come–my last day at the Library of Congress. I’ve got plenty of mixed emotions. On the one hand I’ll miss working with my Library colleagues and with the NDIIPP partners–we spent 12 years working together on projects that made a difference. On the other hand, I could not have asked for a better send-off: I’m touched by all the messages of congratulations and support, delivered both in person and, fittingly, in digital form.
I’ve been lucky during my career to work on innovative efforts with federal government agencies to identify, preserve and make available information with enduring value. Now, it’s true that national institutions can struggle with new demands on them for leadership, and that pain accompanies change. But I feel deeply grateful for the unique opportunities I’ve had to help chart a new course in the direction of building collections and providing enhanced access to them.
I’d like to acknowledge a few special people with whom I’ve worked at the Library. My own team deserves thanks for building what I think is the best digital preservation communications program anywhere. Mike Ashenfelder is a fine writer with a special gift for presenting the human side of things; his series of articles on digital preservation pioneers is wonderful (he is the only person on Earth who can weave a great story about archives, radiation and cat physical therapy). Erin Engle has shown initiative and determination to establish herself as an authority on personal digital archiving and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance as a whole. Butch Lazorchak has long been the linchpin for an amazing variety of NDIIPP initiatives, and is demonstrating his usual level of commitment and enthusiasm in taking over from me as editor and chief cajoler for The Signal. Sue Manus keeps us all focused on the big picture with her awareness of how NDIIPP is reported across all communications platforms; she also provides indispensable support for our various student internship programs (more on that in a minute).
I’d also like to thank Carl Fleischhauer for his sage advice and help over the years; he is without question one of the Library’s most valuable resources. Leslie Johnston has helped in many ways, including as a dedicated and prolific blogger, a source of technical expertise and as a wellspring of optimism and good humor. In terms of those who have retired before me, I’d like to pay special tribute to Caroline Arms, who remains an unparalleled and indefatigable source of wisdom about so many things (she is the only one I know who can effortlessly use both “whitespace” and “namespace” in the same sentence).
I mentioned our student interns, and working with them has been a special joy for me over the years. They include Sally Whiting Kerrigan, Candace LaPlante, Madeline Shelton, Emily Reynolds, Chelsie Rowell, Gloria Gonzalez, Victoria Priester, Kristin Snawder, Cristina Bilmanis and Tess Webre. All of them are outstanding people, brimming with enthusiasm and talent, and all have bright futures ahead of them.
Goodbye and good luck!