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Sarah’s New Job

January 11, 2011

I am pleased to announce that I recently accepted a position as the Assistant Director for the San Rafael Public Library, my hometown library.

Earlier this year San Rafael voters approved a $49 parcel tax specifically for the library which is allowing the library to increase staff positions, hours, and more.  I look forward to finding innovative ways to spend some of that money (of course with the permission of the Library Director, David Dodd — who I’ve known for 9 years and who was incidentally my boss at my first librarian job out of library school).

This means that I will sadly be leaving the San Jose Public Library after 3+ years working as their Digital Futures Manager, a job I love and passionately pursued.  My team is amazing.  We’ve done a lot of things (a mobile app, a new website, Database Delight online training, halfway through an augmented reality site/app, etc.).  It’s been a very interesting and exciting ride, and in many ways I am sad to be leaving.

At the same time, I really look forward to the opportunities a small library brings.  San Jose has about 1 million residents while San Rafael has 60,000.  San Jose has 19 open locations while San Rafael has 2.

This is a big change for me, but I will definitely be managing my new library’s digital presence.  There are so many things I want to do, so don’t count me out of the uber-tech game yet.  I am going to have to re-learn my coding skills, since I have left most of them un-used as a tech manager (one of the hazards of moving into management at a large system).  So I’m inviting coding resource recommendations from all of you for CSS, PHP, MySQL, HTML5, etc.  Bring it on because I’m going to need a refresher for sure.

My work here on LibrarianInBlack will continue, as will my other writing, training, consulting, and speaking for libraries and other institutions.  I’m not really going anywhere–not virtually, at least.  So, yes.  That about covers it.  Wish me luck and stop by San Rafael sometime.

“Sarah’s New Job”

  1. jessamyn Says:

    Very happy for you, congrats.

  2. Anne Says:

    Congratulations! And cheers on losing the commute!

  3. Beth G. Says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a fantastic new adventure!

  4. Kathryn Greenhill Says:

    Congratulations Sarah. I moved briefly from a large library system to a much smaller one last year. The potential for tightly focused and nimble tech implementation is great in a small library. You tend to hold things together with duct tape and make do sometimes because there just aren’t the resources, but you also tend to know your staff and users much more personally so they can understand and follow what you are doing better.

    Best wishes with it all.

  5. Lori Reed Says:

    Congratulations Sarah!

  6. Meredith Says:

    Yippee! Congratulations! Here’s to getting your hands dirty again and dealing with a MUCH shorter commute! :)

  7. Tweets that mention Sarah’s New Job | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Houghton-Jan, WPL Reference Div, Library Feed and others. Library Feed said: Sarah’s New Job http://bit.ly/f71QS5 [...]

  8. Amy Says:

    I was very happy to hear this. This is a fantastic opportunity. I was so impressed with your work at SJSU, and wondered how you managed the commute from San Rafael to SJSU. I hope the new job will be ideal in every way. I look forward to hearing more about your new work adventures. Congratulations!

  9. Paul Mills Says:

    Congratulations, Sarah! It is true that you get to know your patrons and your staff that much better, and that is a very cool thing!

  10. Sean Prendiville Says:

    Congratulations, Sarah! Look forward to seeing you at the San Rafael Public Library. This is great news! David Dodd has a great team and has really augmented it with the newly-hired staff, especially you.

  11. Dirk Says:

    Congrats on the promotion, If your going to delve back into coding you might want to look into Ruby on Rails, its a switch, but you could make some great library apps with it.

  12. Scott Says:

    Congratulations, Sarah! I suspect dropping that commute will be almost as invigorating as working with David and the team he’s assembled at San Rafael.

  13. Jenny Levine Says:

    Hooray – congratulations to you and to lucky San Rafael!

  14. Jackie Says:

    SJPL will lose a super star; SRPL will get one. Congratulations Sarah! You are quite the inspiration.

  15. Kathryn Deiss Says:

    Fantastic news, Sarah! Congratulations! It sounds like a wonderful position for you. I wish you all the best and know you will excel and bring such great leadership to San Rafael! Enjoy the fun of this new challenge!

  16. greg hardin Says:

    Congratulations Sarah!
    Happy for you in this great, new opportunity.

  17. mlibrarianus Says:

    Congrats, Sarah! I’m sure you will rock this job just as much as you did the last one.

  18. Thom Ball Says:

    Congratulations Sarah!! You will love working for the library in your hometown – a wonderful, engaging experience that deepens your connection to the community both personally and professionally. All the best!

  19. David Dodd Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful news with your online community, Sarah. I am looking forward very much to working together with you and the rest of our excellent staff to make the San Rafael Public Library an even better, forward-thinking, and trend-setting library.

  20. brian Says:

    Congrats Sarah! Still looking forward to your posts and great info here :-)

  21. Abigail Says:

    Wow! Congratulations!! Best wishes for the new position.

  22. Sarah Says:

    Thank you everyone for your wishes for success. It’s an interesting change for me, and I’m excited to see where it leads!

  23. Mary Mi Says:

    Fantastic Sarah!!!!

  24. Jamie Gold Says:

    Congratulations Sarah on the new job and the new short commute!
    Like ships in the night…I’m retiring in June.
    Best Regards,
    Jamie

  25. Trista Smith Says:

    Congrats! As for brushing up on your tech skills, I’m trying out the p2pu. They have some interesting classes. http://p2pu.org/

  26. Cliff Landis Says:

    I’m so very happy for you!!! You deserve nothing but the best, and I hope this change is amazingly positive for you. Congratulations!

  27. Jill Hurst-Wahl Says:

    Great news! Congratulations!

  28. Paula Hane Says:

    Great news on the new job AND the short commute. Best wishes.

  29. LynneW Says:

    Congratulations, Sarah! Best wishes for success and happiness in your new position. You’ve been a real Influence For Good at San Jose and I’m sure that will continue; I’ve learned so much from reading your blog and I will enjoy seeing you transition to a much more hands-on position, and the lessons you share from that experience.

  30. Lisa Rickey Says:

    Congratulations! Yay for career advancement. And “coming home” is always nice!

  31. Louise Alcorn Says:

    Yay Sarah! That sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Best of luck!

  32. Michael Says:

    Congrats! What an exciting new chapter. I wish you the very best!

  33. Sue Ketcham Says:

    Congratulations Sarah on your new job … I’m sure it will be as rewarding as your last one.

  34. Eva Says:

    Congratulations Sarah! Welcome back to Marin County.

  35. Beth Says:

    Congratulations! Good luck at your new position! And it sounds like the new commute will be an improvement. :)

  36. Melissa Maglio Says:

    Yay Sarah. I just read your announcement on my feed and am so happy for you. Going from SJPL to the smaller San Rafael will be great in so many ways. I often compare my work with SJPL and my work now with Los Gatos LIbrary. They just don’t compare. apples oranges except they are both fruit (both are libraries with hopefully similar values) Lucky lucky San Rafael.

  37. Stacey Aldrich Says:

    Congratulations Sarah!
    Great news!
    Much success and happiness in all of your new adventures!

  38. Randi Says:

    Congratulations! Best of luck!

  39. Erin Says:

    Congrats, Sarah! This sounds like a great opportunity for you to take on some new challenges and pursue new levels of excellence. We all look forward to your continuing presence as a leader in the library tech world!

  40. Jamie Matczak Says:

    Congrats, Sarah!! Sounds like a great opportunity!

  41. Jennifer Says:

    Congrats on the new job! As for coding advice, one of my favorite helper programs is a CSS editor called TopStyle Lite. It has a nice scroll and click interface, allowing you to choose the code you want and have the proper syntax automatically entered for you. Meanwhile, you can still manually edit the CSS. The color-coding also makes it really easy to quickly read a stylesheet. My biggest problem with any kind of programming or coding has always been the punctuation. (I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent hunting for missing semicolons or mismatched parentheses over the years. :) Having something supply it automatically has been wonderful.

  42. Floating Clouds Says:

    Wow! I wondered where you went. Congratulations and best of luck. Now I regret even more not applying for those open librarian positions.

  43. Joan Peck Says:

    Hello Sarah – I am looking forward to meeting you and working with you. I too live right up the hill. It is a pleasure to work in my home library. See you soon – Joan

  44. Tess Says:

    Congratulations, Sarah, on your new job–you will make that library system so cool now, as you did for SJSU/SJPL! I hope catch some of your presentations at conferences when you get a chance. You’re a celebrity amongst our library and information science students at San Jose State, did ya know? –Tess

  45. Dal Builders Says:

    wondered how you managed the commute from San Rafael to SJS? It sounds like a wonderful position for you

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