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Priorities

February 24, 2009

When I started this program, a show I’d long been dreaming of doing, the better part of two years ago, I had a child about to turn two and another one on the verge of joining our family. Even then, getting prepared for, and then recording, the show was a delicate balancing act between being a dedicated father and husband and contributing something meaningful, at least in my estimation, to the library community. These past few months have presented some challenges on the family side (mostly in the form of significant, recurring illness) that have me rethinking how I prioritize those components of my life that are competing for my energy.

In short, it’s time to devote more of my headspace to being daddy. Toward that end, and with a heavy heart, I’m putting the show on hiatus. I’m hesitant to declare it a permanent vacation, as situations change and I’ve been known to change my mind, but that’s a distinct possibility.

Couple of things I should say with regard to this. It’s not a decision I make lightly and it in no way reflects my enthusiasm for what we do here. I love producing this program. I love the conversations. I love the people who’ve joined me on this journey. I know some of them will be genuinely disappointed. For this, I am sorry.

I’m willing to consider alternative arrangements (less frequency, guest hosting, etc.), but this is only the most visible of a number of changes I’m making toward reclamation of my extra-curricular time. Please understand that the problem for me is not so much the hosting of the show, which is only an hour of my time per week. It’s the never-ending involvement: the slave-like attention to my feed reader, the setting up of blog posts, the reading and re-reading of proposed conversation starters. All worthwhile activites that I enjoy, but that require a certain constant level of engagement which forces me to make compromises with the rest of my priorities. I’m making a conscious decision to not make those compromises anymore.

If someone out there in listener land thinks they are up for this kind of engagement and would like to consider taking on the responsibilities of running the show, I’m open to talking about it. Yes, it’s my baby. Yes, I’m protective of it. But I’m capable of letting go, as I ultimately did with the Carnival of the Infosciences, my first LIS child. Just know what you’re getting into before you drop me a line (greg.schwartz at gmail). I find it unlikely that anyone will want to take the reins though, given that I waited a few years for someone to make a show like this happen before I did and it never happened. And even though I tried to make it take as little of my time as possible (so that it might be sustainable), it still takes a not-insignificant amount of time and energy.

Thank you all for listening and participating through 71 awesome, one-of-a-kind episodes.

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24 Comments
  1. And thanks to you for running them!

  2. Greg…hats off to you for focusing on what is truly a priority. I’m going through the same challenge now with my soon to be 5 year old and 20 month old. Between my day job, school, consulting, and life on the social networks it is hard to find a good balance. The show was awesome and I hope someone steps up to keep it going so your legacy will live on.

  3. Kristin permalink

    I’ve been a lurker, but I’ve been listening. Thanks for doing it this long.

  4. THANKS Greg for some great shows. I was more of a listener, though I did participate in one call. With a 2 year old of my own and a second due in 5 weeks – I HEAR YA!! I respect your decision and also hope someone will consider stepping in. See you on the Social Interwebs!

  5. Thank you Greg for the show. I have loved every moment of it, but understand that family comes first. Hopefully Uncon Vocab will be back, but if not, I will continue to be appreciative of all the info, fun and laughter that it has brought.

    All the best in your timeout!

  6. Greg, thank you for writing about your reasons. I am glad you have left the door open for continuing in the future. I have learned just how time-intensive podcasting is when I started my own in August. I wish I could pitch in and continue it for you, but I have my own baby to attend to–my burgeoning consulting company–and feel I have already built in enough distractions to keep me from getting business done.

    Thank you so much for bringing us together. I have gotten to know a number of the other guests here, and have learned a lot about my own industry and profession both through participating and listening to shows I missed attending.

    I guess the biggest thing I will miss, though, is hearing your voice, Greg. It is the voice of a friend and I hope we find future opportunities to talk and hang out. I completely understand that the family has to come first so will try not to be selfish. 😉

    All the best with everything, and don’t be a stranger.

    Cheers,
    Connie

  7. We are sorry for the hiatus, but I’m stoked on your family duties and your dedication to what is TRULY important Greg!

    Take care and keep in touch!

    Your friend,

    Max Macias

  8. Thanks for all the great episodes and the work that went into producing them, I’ve enjoyed listening. But I admire your choice to go on hiatus. Your time as a dad is far too important. Good for you.

  9. You all are far too kind. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

  10. Greg,
    Bravo, to you for choosing to make time for family. I’m a little late to the party, I’ve only been listening since last October after hearing you speak at Internet Librarian. That said, though I’ve really appreciated all the thoughtful discussion, and the preparation you mention was very obvious, in the way that you moderated the show. Thanks for giving everyone in Libraryland such a great forum for discussion.
    Best wishes,
    Jim

    • Thanks, Jim. I think you’re the first person to suggest my preparation was obvious. So thanks for that too.

  11. Greg, Kudos, Props, Snaps for making a commitment to being a leader in library thinking for “being the change.” I have followed your program, lurked, listened to podcasts, recommended the site to students and fellow professionals as a place to think, find fresh perspective, even to encounter the humor in libraries while looking for current events in libraries. It is no small feat and, frankly, I have been amazed what you have done here. Just assembling the various submissions is worthwhile.

    Knowing how much your family means to you, it is all the more impressive. It is not everyone I know who posts pictures of their kids right of the door to their office. My guess is that this thing you have done feeds you but it might also be something you did to help make libraries better for all kids coming along. Everyone makes contributions that help us in this collaboration called life and even in librarianship. We get there together. Thanks for making this an interesting road to connect on, even for those of us who aren’t entirely sure we are technofiles.

    • Thanks, Susan. You made me smile. Love your site, by the way, although you might want to update that resume. And more photography please.

  12. Greg, thanks for UV. It’s been a blast to listen to. Deciding what to give our time to–having to choose–is one of the bleeping hardest things there is. You do a great job explaining the bittersweetness of it. Enjoy your new hours!

  13. Diddy, while I will miss checking in on the show post-recording, good for you. Your decision is the right one for you and it reminds all of your supporters and listeners that while dedication to the profession is important, it is not paramount. There is more to this life than our work. And I for one often need to be reminded of that. So, bravo, for putting yourself out there in the first place and for recognizing where you need to be today.

  14. Every working parent out there understands COMPLETELY. I went to library school and worked while my kids were small and I did not have traditional daycare (rather a juggling act made up of trades and kid swaps) and it was really tough. Small kids are so labor intensive and you do want to have a tiny bit of patience and energy to enjoy them.

    Thanks for being brave!

  15. A tough choice, Greg, but a very good one, imho. The balancing act can be challenging but family needs to come first. Good luck with everything.
    Best,
    Paula

  16. Moyra McAllister permalink

    I wondered why my Juice feed had stuck on Episode 71 – now I know! Greg, I completely understand why you took the decision to stop, but I don’t know where I’ll go to find out all the ‘goss’ on what’s happening in US libraryland (I’m from Australia). Thanks for doing this for so long. I’ll miss you.

    Best regards and look after yourself (and that family)
    Moyra

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. See Also… » Uncontrolled Vocabulary going on hiatus
  2. Silent in the Morning - UnVocab on Hiatus « T is for Training
  3. Jason Puckett.net » Blog Archive » Saluting Unvocab
  4. uncontrolled vocabulary takes a hiatus… « first conclusions
  5. in forming thoughts » Blog Archive » adieu uncontrolled vocabulary
  6. The Liminal Librarian » Blog Archive » On meaning to blog

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