Compare and contrast a political campaign. Here we have two grassroots efforts that are starkly different. One portrays hope and the other generates fear. Where do you really want to put your effort and resources?
I’m not being Pollyanna when I say that positive thinking brings about positive change. If we surround ourselves with hope, then we can be hopeful. It’s not an ideal world, by any means, but a president that is thoughtful, kind, mindful, and willing to recognize mistakes is the kind of president I’d like to see, even if I don’t agree with all if his policies.
Though I don’t agree with every policy decision, regardless of being on the left or the right, I do appreciate moving in a general direction. The philosophy and outlook of the candidate. The values the candidate represents.
Students, thousands of them, fill all spaces in the library. Lines form to use computers and textbooks. All library staff are on their feet every moment the library is open to direct and support any need. Students come and go with alacrity, which is a joy to experience, and I smile to our role as a central place on campus. It’s the fall semester and, as I write this letter, we have just completed our third week. Finally there is a calming energy after so much activity. It’s the space between beginning and middle. To add to the huge number of students, we also went live with the WorldShare Management Services platform this semester (eight other California community college campuses are actively migrating, with a few more still in the works). It’s been a very full three weeks for us and I am certain that each of our campus libraries can share a similar story for the fall semester beginnings.
The power was completely out for half the campus on the first day of the fall semester at Santa Barbara City College. The library, already a crowded place, was even more crowded than usual. We experienced our continued record capacity with over 5,000 students each of the first three days. The Luria Library also went live with our new library system from OCLC – WorldShare Management Services (WMS). How did the first week go with the new system? What did we learn? Continue reading →
With the arrival of students and the start of the fall semester, tomorrow is our go-live date for OCLC’s WorldShare Platform (WMS) at the Luria Library. I fully embrace this migration from our legacy platform (SirsiDynix Horizon), but I am clearly nervous and a little uncertain if we are ready for the switch on Monday morning. This has been an accelerated implementation with all the work having been performed since early May. The library staff, particularly our technical service librarian and circulation staff, have been working extra long hours focused on this migration. It’s an exciting opportunity that will serve our students and our staff into the immediate future.
The steps for the migration aren’t that difficult – export patron records, circulation data, and bibliographic data, configure our settings in WMS, and test, test, test. Unfortunately, the tests have uncovered a few hiccups to our migration and we’ve been working closely with our OCLC implementation team to get them resolved. A few aspects of migration are going to require significant manual effort. Specifically, creating the Reserves Collection, cleaning up the Serials Collection (holdings information is not accurate), item costs didn’t migrate well due to discrepancies in Horizon, and it seems we didn’t migrate local holding information for our 25k+ ebooks so linking doesn’t exist right now (unknown resolution).
With deep joy and gratitude, I am happy to share with you the good news that I have been invited to receive the Lamp of Wisdom, encouragement to teach, by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community. Lamp Transmission Ceremonies for monastic and lay practitioners will be held at Deer Park Monastery, near San Diego on Saturday, March 17-18, 2012. My friends Karen Hilsberg, John Salerno-White, Joann Rosen, and Jim Scott-Behrends will all receive the Lamp at Deer Park next weekend. In total, there will be 8-lay practitioners and 6-monastics receiving over the course of two days. Though the transmission is coming from Thich Nhat Hanh, he will not be physically present for the ceremony.
For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, lamp transmission refers to "the manner in which the teaching, or Dharma, is passed from a Zen master to their disciple. The procedure establishes the disciple as a transmitting teacher in their own right and successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual 'bloodline' theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself." According to Zen schools, the first instance of Dharma transmission occurred as transcribed in the Flower Sermon, when the Buddha held up a golden lotus flower given to him by Brahma before an assembly of "gods and men."
This is a deep honor along with a long term commitment. I am very grateful for my sangha, my family, and my friends who have supported me on this path. My hope is to include some pictures and words about my experience after next weekend.
I'm stepping out of my comfort zone by choosing to join a small group of men for eight gatherings over the next four months. I've done a great deal of group work over the last twenty years, but this one already feels different. It's not a Buddhist group. It's not a 12-step group. Most importantly, I'm not the leader. We will gather to look into our manhood, to learn from each other, and to build community.
Even though I've lived in Ojai for seven years, I've not taken the opportunity to create a community of my own. It's a small town and I know many people, but I tend to honor my introvert self and stay home with my family or do things on my own. I met the eight men last night for the first time. I knew only one person, and even him I only know on a very casual level. What I discovered in two hours was a group of very kind men who want to explore something different and build community.