It’s been quite a while since I posted anything personal on my blog. It’s also been two years this week since I started a new job at Wheaton College. Here’s what I’ve been up two in the last two years.
California Shortly before we moved, Faith and I took a short trip to Southern California. We enjoyed the exploring San Diego, hiking in Joshua Tree, exploring a mission, and just spending time together.
Job I started a new position at Wheaton College (IL) as the librarian for outreach and promotion and the group leader for the teaching and outreach group. I’m grateful to have been welcomed into a wonderful community of scholars and friends.
We Moved . . . Again. We lived in three different homes in under three years, leading our middle daughter to ask a few hours into a road trip, “where we were going to be living now?” When we first moved from Cincinnati we rented for a year to give us time to get a sense of the neighborhood and one year ago we purchased our home in Wheaton, IL. Nevertheless, we’ve had lots of fun exploring our new neighborhood and places nearby.
Charlotte We welcomed a third little girl to our family, Charlotte Ruth.
Travel One of the more exciting aspects of my job has been participating in the planning project for a proposal to expand the college library. Part of the planning involved a fair amount of travel. Between travel for meetings, conferences, and committee work across the last couple of years I was able to visit nearly twenty other libraries. Here are some of my favorites:
Conclusion It’s been a great two years but I’m looking forward to a few less changes in the next two.
“In the human mind, the word library seems to sit alongside other pregnant and evocative words such as garden, forest, galaxy, and labyrinth. Book lovers speak of their possessions as beautiful flowers, verdant leaves, precious fruit, flowing fountains. Books are stars and planets and meteorites. To browse library shelves is to wander in a maze or a mirror gallery. Cemetery is another neighboring word. Libraries have always been a matter of life and death. They are places of reverence, homes for things long gone. Through books, the dead speak.” Read the rest here.
Our visits were never long enough for me—the library was so bountiful. I loved wandering around the shelves, scanning the spines of the books until something happened to catch my eye. Those trips were dreamy, frictionless interludes that promised I would leave richer than I arrived. It wasn’t like going to a store with my mom, which guaranteed a tug-of-war between what I desired and what she was willing to buy me; in the library, I could have anything I wanted.
We formally gave thanks for Charlotte this afternoon. She’s 3 weeks old today. The opening prayer was encouraging and challenging. It’s something that I hope to live up to for each of my daughters. May my children always love all this is true, noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable.
O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that
whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives
Christ himself: We give thanks for the blessing you have
bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm
their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and
give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to
bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and
pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable,
following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
It was announced that the “University” of Akron will eliminate 80 programs to make room for some enhanced majors, an esports program, and to save money. I propose that any institution of higher education that doesn’t offer its students degrees in philosophy, political science, sociology, history, most modern languages, mathematics, or physics not be allowed to call itself a university. If the bulk of your program offerings are professional programs then you aren’t a university. Akron isn’t the first regional “university” to slash academic departments/programs to focus on other issues. These sorts of cuts are only part of a growing trend (e.g. SUNY Albany, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point). One that should come at a costs to the institutions . . . they need to hand in their “university” card. They might well be top-notch polytechnic or professional institutions but they’re not a university.
Strife has erupted at the Boston Athenaeum, a venerable redoubt of Brahmin culture better known for afternoon teas and Beacon Hill reserve than for workplace clashes that spill into the public realm.
Even as the private library has courted younger members and improved fund-raising, it has been rocked by internal divisions and widespread staff departures: Nearly half of the Athenaeum’s roughly 55 employees have departed in the past 3½ years — a striking turn at an institution where tenure is often measured by the decade.
In more than a dozen interviews, current and former employees, board members, and longtime supporters of the Athenaeum described an institution in turmoil, as director Elizabeth Barker seeksto modernize the tradition-bound library she’s led since October 2014 while being accused of disregarding its essential character and expert staff. Read the rest.