— Dr. Donna Lanclos (@DonnaLanclos) June 17, 2018
Around this time last year my family and I were getting ready to move ourselves to the UK for the year. We have, since end of July 2017, been physically based in Kingston-on-Thames, just southish from central London.
It’s been great.
It’s been hectic.
It’s been challenging.
I am so glad we did this.
Over the course of this year I have facilitated workshops, delivered talks, keynoted at conferences, conducted research, and spent a lot of time on UK (and occasionally other) trains going from place to place. I have published two book chapters, and two articles in the 2017-18 academic year.
I have worked in, visited, or otherwise found myself in: Oxford, Edinburgh, Leicester, Cambridge, Belfast, Lancaster, Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham, Warwick, Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Galway, Coventry, and London London London. Oh and there was also that detour in the Fall where I had the great good pleasure of visiting New Zealand, far too briefly. I have given presentations to the following organizations: the International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries, ALT-C, Lianza, UCISA Digital Capabilities Group, CPD25, and the Forum for Interlending. I have worked and talked with people at UEL, UWL, Kingston University, the LSE, UAL, Goldsmiths, King’s, UCL, and that’s just in London. I have been working closely with colleagues at Jisc on their Digital Leadership Course as well as on a year-long project about teaching practices, and have done other small research projects here and there that have helped me think in constructive ways about how people approach academic work, especially but not exclusively in terms of digital tools, places, and platforms.
If I’ve lost track of you I’m sorry I will remember I know I will. I believe my point is: I have been busy, people have been generous, I have been invited, and I am grateful for the work I’ve gotten to do this year.
So, what do I do now?
We have to go back. There is work to be done in the US that has nothing to do with HE, FE, digital leadership, or libraries.
I have quit my job in the library at UNC Charlotte. It is time for new things, and I am also not entirely sure what they will be now.
I had wanted to write a sort of “I’m hanging out my shingle” post here, something where I plant a flag or wave my hands and say “I’m here and I’d love to work with you.” Maybe that’s what I am doing, but I am profoundly aware that I don’t actually know what is going to happen next.
I have worked so much this year. Will anyone want me to work with or for them next year?
What will my network in the UK look like when I am no longer a relatively easy train ride away? How will my US network respond to my being back?
What can I build, now that I have done what I have done this year?
With whom can I build whatever it will be?
I don’t know. I have some ideas but I don’t really know.
In the meantime, I will be back in Charlotte NC but also already making plans to be back in the UK in the autumn.
It is hard to have hope. I will try to hope anyway.
And I hope to see you all again soon.