Posts tagged ‘Janie Hermann’

Farewell, Peter!

Farewell to Peter Bromberg

Farewell to Peter Bromberg

We’ll miss you, Peter!


August 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Passion Quilt Meme: Take Risks!


Last week Betha Gutsche tagged me for the “Passion Quilt” Meme. I am finally finding a few minutes to play along. The rules of the meme have already been posted by Pete in his contribution to the “quilt” and since this meme is really making the rounds in libraryland I shall not repost them.

Like others who have taken part, I had a really hard time narrowing this down. I waffled back and forth between wanting do something that expressed a concept related to risk-taking or else something on the importance of imagination and creativity in the workplace. Also, I really wanted to use one of several favorite quotations that I have filed on index cards in an old recipe box from my days of being a teacher (we would do the “Thought for the Day” first thing in the mornings and rifling through the recipe box yesterday for this meme was fun).

When I found the guinea pig photo, my decision was made. I don’t even particularly like guinea pigs, but this photo was too cute not to use — and I could also relate it to a favorite risk-taking quotation so it was perfect. My explanation of why I chose this particular picture and theme for the meme is really more personal than profound, but still worth sharing (I hope).

I am a risk taker who is not afraid of change. In fact, I thrive on it. If I had not been willing to take some pretty big risks in my life, I would not be where I am right now — which, for the record, is at a pretty darn good place. I won’t bore you with all the nitty-gritty details, but here are a few of the facts in a nutshell:

I left a tenured teaching job where I was earning 40K+ back in the early 1990s to go to library school on what was almost a whim. When I graduated the job offerings for librarians in Canada were slim pickings at best, so I spent the last few dollars in my savings account to attend ALA Annual in NYC to find a job. I did not limit myself geographically and ended up with 5 offers as a result — all in the USA. I emigrated to upstate NY to become an academic librarian and then two years later I took another risk in moving to NJ to become a public librarian (even though I never thought I would leave academia).

I was single at the time and knew not a single living soul in either of these places, and it was scary — I almost quit several times to go home to family and friends in Canada. To ease the homesickness (and the boredom of knowing no one), I would take on big projects and just keep pushing myself with new challenges. I would often take on “more than I could chew”, but somehow it would eventually all get done. With each new risk and each new limit tested I finally found myself exactly where I want to be in life (at least for now). I know that there will more big decision in my future and I know that when that happens I will embrace the challenge of a new risk.

I honestly had several people question my sanity during some of my riskier moves — after all, who leaves the security of a permanent, well-paying teaching position to take a library job that pays less than 28K in a different country where you know no one? It took several years for me to regain parity with my previous salary, but the non-monetary rewards of my risks and of believing that libraries are the right place for me to work have more than compensated for any lost salary in my journey.

Risk-taking is not so scary once you start. In fact, it becomes addictive and opens your mind to greater possibilities. I encourage new grads and seasoned professionals alike to take a great big bite of something new this year and just keep chewing on it until you succeed.

Editing to add: I am feeling pretty sure that this meme has just about run its course so I am not going to tag anyone in particular. If you haven’t been tagged yet and want to play along, just saying that Janie from LG tagged you and then have at it.

May 5, 2008 at 10:13 am 3 comments

Friday Find

This post could also be called “Reason #132 that I heart SlideShare”.

I went to SlideShare this morning to upload the slides from my recent presentation at PLA 2008 in Minneapolis and got sidetracked by the featured “Slideshow of the Day” — and also by the response that someone has made. I often get sidetracked by the featured slideshow and in this case both the feature and the response are great teaching tools to show the evolution of e-communication.

Here is featured slideshow: “Peak Email” posted by Engineerswithoutfears

Here is the response: “Squiki” posted by plambe

Doesn’t that make you want a squiki?

Oh, and if you are interested in what I and the other panelists (Michael Porter and Stephanie Gerding) on the “From Hype to Help” session had to say at PLA, a few bloggers have made nice summaries (for which I am thankful) — you can find them here and here. My slides are now posted at SlideShare under my user name JanieH.

April 4, 2008 at 9:57 am 1 comment

8 Things (Janie)

Since our entire blog has been tagged (and since I have been too overwhelmed lately to post), this is a good reason to play along with the 8 random things meme. Posts of substance are in the works, I just need a few more hours in my days.

1. In 7th grade I wanted to be a cruise director like Julie on The Love Boat. The funny thing is that being the program coordinator at a public library is very similar in many ways, so I guess I achieved this aspiration.

2. My first childhood pet was a goldfish named Goldie. Apparently I was not terribly original when it came to names as a child because I also had a teddy bear named Bear-Bear and a doll named Dollie.

3. I am terrified of bats. This fear is not without reason, but the story is too complex for this post.

4. I used to be able to sing along to the entire soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and can still make it through all of the Time Warp without prompts.

5. I have read every single book by Margaret Atwood, some more than once.

6. I am happiest when I am at the family cottage in the Kawartha Region of Ontario. I could happily spend my entire summer on the lake with nothing but a pile of books, jigsaw puzzles and a canoe or kayak.

7. My family is planning a trip to Disney World this September. The last time I was there was in 1975, the year that Space Mountain opened and it was a really big deal. My husband has not been there since 1977 and this will be Alex’s first trip. I hope it is not 30+ years before we go again.

8. I think Parker Posey is absolutely brilliant and many of her films are among my all time favorites. Party Girl should be required viewing in library school. In fact, when it first came out I was in library school and about 40 of us went to theatre to see it together — including the dean of the school and several professors.

Now my turn to tag. I think this meme requires 8 people to tag, so I am going to tag Pop Goes the Library and all of their blogging team (that takes care of 5 with one) as well as Helene Blowers, Karen Schneider, and Christopher Harris (who was an undergrad at HWS when I worked there as a Reference Librarian… makes me feel old).

May 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm 8 comments

Meme Mashup

Back in the early days of 2007 when the “5 things you probably don’t know about me” meme was circulating I got tagged 3+ times and intended to play along. I actually composed most of the post, but then lost it when my laptop froze and never found time to write it again. Now I have been tagged by Meredith for the new meme about 5 non-library blogs we read, so I am mashing the memes together into one big post. How efficient is that?

First, 5 things that you may or may not know about me:

Even though I have lived stateside for over 10 years now, I remain a Canadian citizen. My first 7 years of working in the States was accomplished via a series of TN NAFTA visas, but I now have a green card and will likely get American citizenship eventually (when I find some spare time, so maybe not too soon).

I have lived above the Arctic Circle and also in Bermuda and have moved 27 times in my life. My stint at PPL (close to 9 years and counting) is the longest time I have ever worked in a single place. It really feels weird to me that I will have soon lived in my current home 5 years as I have never called an apartment or house “home” for longer than 2 years since I started college. Needless to say, I am an expert at packing and moving.

It shocks people when they visit as I own relatively few books, especially for a librarian — partly due to the 27 moves and partly due to the fact that I am a minimalist. My son, however, has overflowing bookshelves. I love children’s literature and especially picture books. One of my cooperative work terms while at library school was working in the Children’s Literature Service of the National Library of Canada (a truly wonderful experience).

Downhill skiing is one of the few athletic pursuits that I have ever achieved any sort of higher level abilities (other than highland dancing). I met my husband in a ski club and, when given my choice of things to do on vacation, I will choose a ski trip almost every time.

My musical tastes are eclectic (pop to hard rock to opera) and I have a special fondness for world music and in particular Celtic music, which stems from my undergraduate days of as a dancer in the Queen’s Bands.

Now, for the five non library blogs ( the first 3 directly related to the 5 things above)

CBC Radio 3: Helps me to stay current with Canadian culture and news. I also love Rick Mercer’s blog (but wish he would post more frequently) and frequently read Political Notebook as well as a few other Canadian blogs that help me stay connected to all things “north of the border”.

Book Buds: Even though one might argue that a site reviewing picture books is not really a non-library blog, I am including it since it is not related to my job duties and I read it more for the love of pictures books than anything else. In a similar category is Reading Moms, a blog that meets both my personal and parenting reading needs.

The Echoes Blog: The companion blog to where there is lots of musical goodness to discover – including Celtic and other world music.

Kevin’s Blog on Training: Good training tips and advice from Kevin Eikenberry. In fact, I have several of his blogs in my aggregator.

Gizmodo: The Gadget Guide: The tag line says it all “… So much in love with shiny new toys, it’s unnatural.”

I am tagging Nancy Dowd, Elizabeth Burns, Stephen Abram, and Darlene Fichter (I want to see what other Canadian and NJ librarians are reading in their feeds) and anyone else who wants to play along.

March 23, 2007 at 11:59 am 12 comments

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