No One Does Anything Alone
This year I will turn 50. I'm not freaked out about this, or even dismayed. I'm puzzled. I'm puzzled because I don't feel like 50. I mean, not even close. I think I'm 35, except when I look in the mirror ;-). I realize I'm lucky to not feel (yet) too many physical manifestations of age, except for a disturbing trend to "thicken". But the approaching proximity of the chance to quit my day job (notice I did not use the "R" word) has me looking both forward and back along my career path.
Forward, to figure out where I want to go in the few remaining years I have left to really make a difference. And back, knowing that I'm where I'm at now because I've been blessed with many good people who have helped get me here. Besides the obvious influence of one's immediate family members I've had many strong and positive influences that it would be difficult or impossible to catalog here. Like a fine wine, which takes a team of people planting, tending, and harvesting the grapes, and still more people to crush, ferment, age, and bottle, a lifetime career is not simply the achievement of one individual. There are many involved with guiding, helping, advising, and providing opportunities for any single individual. But in my life there is one individual I must single out.
Anne Grodzins Lipow was a remarkable individual who had an impact not just on my career, but the professional lives of hundreds if not thousands of individuals. For me, she catapulted me onto the international stage at a critical point in my career and I haven't looked back since. When I look around and see what I've achieved professionally, it is nearly impossible to not see it as all connected, in some way, to her mentorship. Were she here today to hear me call her my mentor, she would protest, in her inimitable way, that she did nothing of the sort. She would say that it was all my doing, and that she was the one who was in my debt for being a part of her endeavors. That's just the kind of person Anne was.
So now, in my 50th year, I give homage to those who have helped me attain some level of success. I will not try to name you all, for fear of this 50-year-old memory forgetting someone. You know who you are, and I thank you for helping me along the way. For Anne, I am editing a festschrift in her honor. Called Technology in Libraries, I am gathering those who knew her, or of her work, to write about a topic that was near to her heart -- the application of new technologies to better serve libraries and our clientele. Like Anne herself would do, this will be published unlike most other books. It will be available both as a free download and for sale in hardback at a reasonable price. For love of Anne. May memory of her never die.