To celebrate, Jim wants all his colleagues and associates to post a good wish, photo or a memory to this blog. You can even ask Jim a question. Jim will reply to every post! (Jim will be the only person able to comment on messages after they are posted).
And while you're at it, Jim hopes you will consider a donation in his honor to his favorite charity, our own Talking Book and Braille Services.
Please submit your message before Jim retires on December 30, 2011. Include your name at the end of your message.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
First, I've gotta congratulate you on both your impressive legacy to libraries and your new freedom to pursue all those avocations and interests I know you have bubbling in the lab of your ever-curious mind.
I will always look happily on our Mad Scientist adventures in shared services and imagining the future, none of which would have happened without your belief that a better idea is always out there for anyone to discover. I'm as proud of the continued success of Plinkit and (the re-renamed) Answerland reference service as any Edison with a lightbulb. But there were plenty of people in his lab, trying everything and making it better, bit by bit, like Darci, Caleb, and all the talented library staff who give their brains and heart to Plinkit, Answerland, and so many other leaps of faith you have supported through the state library over the years. And the true secret of Edison's success was paying attention to the whole system of distribution and use, not just the lightbulb. That was your particular genius, Jim. You believed in the power of doing this work together, trying things, sharing what we learned. So we are all richer and better for it.
It was like old home week when you asked me to help COSLA imagine and choose possible futures for public libraries as eBooks become mainstream. You wanted libraries to meet the future with confidence, not in fear, as always. The productive conversations and thought among library leadership, triggered by our eBook study and scenarios, amazed and gratified me, though you didn't seem at all surprised by that reaction. The work we did together for COSLA is some of my favorite stuff and ranks among the best times I've had serving libraries. Sure, there was that trip to Colorado to present Plinkit to BCR (now LYRASIS), the two of us brilliant Oregonians fumbling to figure out how to use a gas pump for the rental car. And presentations for Virtual Reference Desk, OLA, and Oregon library directors to garner support for Answerland and Plinkit. But it was lovely to take a trip back to libraries after being gone so long and rediscover those sharp-minded, revolutionary souls who passionately care whether people truly retain their full right to be informed, culturally connected citizens of this democracy. I know you care, too.
Thanks for all the adventures, Jim. I've been lucky to find great champions like you in my career, and I promise to give that same leg up to others, whenever I can. Stay cool, man.
Monday, January 2, 2012
I’ve been thinking about this blog posting for months now and I am at a loss for words, as hard as that may be to believe. We have worked together for 16 years and I could probably go on for pages but I think I will make it short and to the point. Thank you for everything, you have been a wonderful (though sometimes annoying) boss and an incredible colleague. I will be in touch, trust me.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
It has been my pleasure and honor to work for you these past 11 years as your administrative assistant and the volunteer program coordinator. I have had the opportunity to participate in Board meetings and see how much impact your passion for library service has been a benefit for Oregon. Over the years I have learned much from your P.S. from the State Librarian articles in the LTLO...and especially like your book reviews at the end of the year. Our trips to Board meetings in places around Oregon were filled with interesting conversations and restaurant critiques for good eating on the road. Thank you for sharing stories of your many interesting travels in your life. I look forward to hearing about your future adventures and I hope there will be many!
We will miss you at the library and look forward to up-dates of your travels...maybe an article - P.S. from Citizen Jim?--Robin Speer
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thank you for your sterling service to Oregon's libraries and their supporters. It's been an honor and a pleasure to know you as the State Librarian and to observe the warmth and wisdom that you gracefully demonstrate in guiding and leading those of us who need to learn what you already know. Congratulations and best wishes on an adventurous and happy retirement. Richard's absolutely right, you will be missed, and I shall miss you every single time I have a library question that Multnomah County cannot answer!
Today, I believe, is your last official day as our State Librarian.
You will always be Oregon's State Librarian Emeritus to me.
For years you've been sending the word out to our library system about
the annual January William Stafford Birthday Celebrations I organize.
Because of your efforts, libraries all over this state have joined in.
For the past year and a half, you've supported my efforts to bring
poetry to Oregon libraries large and small, from Rockaway to Baker
City, from Christmas Valley to Hermiston. A Poet Laureate couldn't
ask for a better partner!
This past year you helped me support Tavern Books' Community Project,
which intends to place a poetry collection in any small rural or
tribal library that requests one. Thanks to your help, Tavern Books
is delivering those collections to grateful librarians.
For years and years, you've been the leader and defender of our Oregon
library system. Our libraries. I've been privileged to visit many of
them, and each time I walk into an Oregon library, I'm struck by the
role it plays in its community. Our libraries are the hubs of their
On February 15th, at the event honoring you at Portland's Central
Library, I'll be in the front row cheering. And I'll be only one of
Thank you, Jim. I thank you for all the Oregonians who benefit from
their public libraries. I thank you for Dylan and Elena, my
grandchildren who haunt the Hollywood Library in their NE Portland
neighborhood. I thank you for every Oregon library fan.