Furloughs and the spirit of generosity 

July 16, 2009, 8:26 pm

So you might have heard, the ten campuses of the University of California are going to be furloughed. Great time to move here, huh? There are still a lot of details to be worked out but the bottom-line comes down to around 16-18 unpaid days off. We've known this might be coming for several weeks now. At first I thought I'd use this time to tour around California; I really want to visit San Francisco. Then I thought maybe I'll use the time for various writing projects. However a new plan has emerged.

While I was at ALA last week I met with Leonard Kniffel, Editor of American Libraries. In passing he mentioned that during his furlough week he taught at UW-Madison. I really liked this idea. It is a great way to turn a negative situation into a positive and productive encounter. I plan to adopt a similar approach. Any library school that is interested– I'll happily donate some of my furlough time to talking with your students. This will be online, maybe through Skype or Wimba or any other system your school has access to. Maybe these sessions will fit into a particular class, or maybe it's just something we open to anyone who is interested. I can cover a wide range of topics.

On a similar theme. Something I wanted to do at Georgia Tech but it just never worked out. I'm going to donate half of my speaker and author honorariums (excluding ALA Editions) to the UCSB Library collections budget. It's not much really, just a few hundred a year, but this will give me the chance to select some much needed titles and contribute a bit of my personality to the collection. Let's hope that generosity is contagious!

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