This is a good time to pause for a moment and take stock, to reflect on what we have, where we are, and to say thanks. There is always plenty of time for thinking about what we might be missing and where we’d like to be, but at this time of year, we have an invitation to sit still and consider what is, and how it might be enough.

Image courtesy of the Santa Ana Public Library

Certainly, depending on your circumstances, this could be quite beyond reach. This past year has introduced some drastic measures in many libraries, so not everyone will look around and see ends meeting.

But there are some places where the dramatic changes have created unusual opportunities. I will say, for myself, that my year has been filled to the brim with work that is often engaging and demanding, even if sometimes puzzling. This is bounty of a kind. Some days, the brim overflows, actually.

Too, I have smart, capable and stimulating co-workers both inside my library and outside, in the many organizations with which we partner. I am very grateful for all that I’m learning as we charge ahead into strange times where less is more and down is up. One thing is certain: all of us who are working in this space are part of inventing new forms of library service together. We are picking our way through boundaries that seem tied up in barbed wire and bureaucracy on the one hand, and then appear to be curiously free of any landmarks on the other.

I feel lucky to be where I am, doing what I’m doing. When I changed careers almost five years ago, I was looking for more meaningful work. I think I’ve found it. In fact, I think we all have our hands full of important work to do right now, because we live in “interesting times,” as they say.

For this, I say thanks.