Opening the first of many boxes of materials, July 2006

Nearly seven years ago to this date, I began the story of The Unquiet Library when I was hired in late December 2006 as the school librarian for the soon to be Creekview High School.   Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how the library program would grow or how I would evolve and learn as a librarian as well as an individual.  I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had during this time, both near and far, and for the teachers, students (especially my students), and people in my personal learning network  who have profoundly shaped my thinking and understanding about the profession of librarianship, public education, and alternative sites of learning.  The narrative of The Unquiet Library has been one of innovation, collaboration, passion, questioning, and insight in both good times and during challenging circumstances, and it’s a story that has always come back to the central themes of learning and creating library experiences that have hopefully been transformative in some way for students and teachers.

My New Professional Nest

Now, nearly seven years to the date I began The Unquiet Library, I’ll be starting an exciting new chapter of my professional career and personal life as I move to Ohio in early January to begin a new job as the Learning Strategist in the Knowledge Office of the Cleveland Public Library, a progressive urban library whose strategic plan reflects an organic vision of libraries that values communities of learning and frames the library as a catalyst for participatory practices of play and learning to empower the people we serve.  Here is an overview of my new role from yesterday’s official press release:

She will serve as an internal consultant to management and staff on matters related to CPL’s mission as the “People’s University”, the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community. Ms. Hamilton will champion the formation of innovative, sustainable, library-supported communities of participatory learning throughout the city with special attention and focus on those that address specific deficits affecting our community. She will also work to coordinate and design a learning and teaching agenda based on the 2012-2014 strategic plan, and work with the new Literacy & Education Coordinator to build an array of effective learning programs at each of CPL’s onsite Learning Centers. As CPL’s liaison to the school systems, she will develop strategies to support curricula through library resources and services.

I’m delighted to be joining such an innovative organization where I can contribute to the library’s mission, serve the community, and have the time, space, and resources to dwell in deep thinking and learning experiences.  The prospect of learning from my colleagues and the Cleveland community is one that warms both my heart and mind, and I have no doubt my immersion in this position will challenge my creative energies and spirit.  I am truly humbled to have been chosen to take on this role and so proud to be joining the Cleveland Public Library.

As I have in the past, this blog will be my “think aloud and wonder” space, and I plan to continue to share my insights, projects, reflections, questions, and ideas that are rooted in my day-to-day work and use that as a lens to look at issues in our profession and issues relevant to our society at large.   I look forward to continuing the conversations about libraries and learning as I begin this fantastic new journey with the Cleveland Public Library.  What stories and narratives of the library experience will we construct together as a community?  I can’t wait to find out!