It's been an amazing 6 months and I would love to catch everyone up on the projects I've worked on!
The biggest project is participating in Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative. I am incredibly honored to have been selected for the 2015 class,the first session back since a 5 or 6 year hiatus from the program due to funding. Before I attended Synergy, I kept referring to it as Leadership Camp and in many ways, that is exactly what it is - a very difficult, self-evaluative and team work focused camp. It was the most challenging thing I've accomplished in my career (besides the book of course!) and I learned so much about myself and others in the process. I can't thank the State Library enough for bringing back such a life-changing program. And if you have the opportunity to apply, Illinois Librarians, get to it! You won't regret it.
It is hard to believe it but the first summer of managing the makerspace is now at a close. Quite frankly this wouldn't have gone over nearly as well as it did without the help of my amazing co-workers and the sincere enthusiasm of the community we serve. Through our partnerships and outreach, we have identified several community members who are now instructors in the space. We're also learning a great deal about who uses the space and why (future blog post on that!) and are now identifying ways to bring in a wider age demographic to Forge programs. Forge has been embraced by our community and it's a truly amazing thing to experience.
I am positively thrilled to be working on an article about innovation in libraries for the ILA Reporter. I haven't done any formal writing since the book, so it feels amazing to get back on the writing horse. The biggest problem so far is that there is so much to cover and so little word count available! I cannot wait to highlight all the things I learned while working on the Library Innovation Toolkit.