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Endings and New Beginnings

Dear Friends,
As you may have heard, I have decided to embark on a new chapter in my life and will be leaving SirsiDynix. It’s been a wonderful ride for almost five years. We’ve done a lot of good work together and I have been afforded a lot of special opportunities.
The highlights of my time at SirsiDynix include the continuing encouragement of innovation in product development and work processes, working on cool projects such as Library 2.0 portals, marketing innovation, SchoolRooms, Enterprise, and opening up the ILS to innovation through API’s, market research, and more. I was especially happy with the speakers and programs of the SirsiDynix Institute and the executive sessions at our user group conferences for UUGI, CODI and COSUGI. With the SirsiDynix team it was exciting to be involved in building the largest ILS company in the world, with a significant presence in all types of libraries. I’ve traveled the world and met my professional colleagues on every inhabited continent and spoke to folks about the challenges facing all of us to thrive in the emerging knowledge economy. Bringing the diverse perspectives of users and librarians back to the SirsiDynix teams has, I believe, made them one of the best informed vendors in the world. I’ll miss them.
I’ve made a lot of friends at SiriDynix and with our library clients. Indeed, the experiences I have shared with library folk globally have provided me an invaluable education and the relationships we have built are lasting and valued. The library sector is filled with passionate, inspiring people who I am honored to call my friends, and I will take those friendships with me wherever my new opportunities take me – from interactions and speeches at library events to the drinks at the pub after a long day on the floor of a major conference.
I tremendously appreciate SirsiDynix’s support of this blog, my speaking engagements around the world and my activities with associations like ALA, SLA, OLA and CLA. It was a lot of fun, every moment presented another great learning opportunity, and I hope that the connections that I have made with you through the journey has had an impact for you as well.
As of January 1, 2010, I am excited to join Gale Cengage as Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Markets. The position is new to me, but the challenges represent a return to my roots in content licensing, portal development, and research, learning, community and experience products for libraries. I’ll also continue to invest time in communicating library content and technology strategies in the context of a positive vision for our shared future. Since Gale Cengage has just about every library in the world as a client and a ton of great content resources and products, I feel like I am a little kid entering the biggest sandbox in the world and the sandcastle of my dreams is just a playtime away.
While I look forward to my new opportunity, these days truly are bittersweet, as I leave a company full of committed professionals, including a significant number of librarians, who have supported and encouraged me in every step of the way. I am confident in the hands I leave the clients we have worked hard to serve, from SirsiDynix management to development and support engineers and staff, all of whom are dedicated to the vision of each library customer. I am looking forward to attending and speaking at the SirsiDynix COSUGI conference in March and presenting at the SirsiDynix Institute sometime in 2010.
SirsiDynix has encouraged me to continue blogging, so I look forward to continuing to use Stephen’s Lighthouse to share personal memories, neat things I want to keep track of and to shine a light on information that I think can help everyone to navigate the choppy waters on our path to the future.
Watch this space for more. As usual I’ll be oversharing as is my wont.
Happy holidays everyone. Here’s to another successful year for libraries around the world and the industries that work hard to support their success.
p.s. the nice SirsiDynix press release about my departure is here.

Posted on: December 18, 2009, 11:00 am Category: Uncategorized

20 Responses

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  1. Congrats Stephen!

  2. Best of luck in your new position!

  3. Congratulations, Stephen – best of luck in the new job!

  4. Judith Siess said

    what prompted this? best of luck and happy holidays!

  5. Rachel Smeijers said

    Stephen, congratulations on your new post at Gale Cengage. How exciting! I want to wish you all the very, very best as you go forward. I’ll be watching and waiting to hear what great things you’ll be helping to make happen. Have a wonderful holiday season too, and I’ll look forward to seeing you sometime in early 2010.

  6. Charlie Parker said

    Congratulations and best wishes! We can’t wait to see the next chapter!

  7. Matt Smith said

    Stephen- good luck in your future endeavors at Gale Cengage. I will continue to follow your writings & benefit from your knowledge. It was a pleasure conversing with you at TCLC 2006 and I hope to get the chance to again, someday.

  8. Congratulations and best wishes in your new role, Stephen!

  9. Best wishes for the new start Stephen and please keep blogging.
    I find your posts and links extremely useful

  10. Best of luck Stephen. What a wonderful way to start the new year – congrats!

  11. Mary Lou Troy said

    Congratulations on your new post. Though I’m now retired, I still enjoy the window you’ve provided into Libraryland. Best wishes and happy holidays.

  12. Congrats. Good to read your blog will continue.
    All the best.

  13. bob allison said

    Good thing pat sommers opened the door for you at gale when sirsidynix slammed it on your behind. Guess you should have been more careful about your open source comments.
    Interesting comment based on speculation and gossip somewhere? Too bad there is not an iota of truth in it. I stand behind my opinions and position about open source and so does SirsiDynix who published it. I regret some people think the positions I took weren’t worthy of debate or that we should somehow shy away from or be ‘careful’ for fear of getting negative feedback.
    It’s shame that some people can publish such comments based totally on a speculative untruth. You might try fact and evidence some day before making a false comment with such defamatory implications.

  14. Ken Peterson said

    Congratulations Stephen! All the best for you in your new role at Gale Cengage.

  15. Pam Casey said

    Congratulations Stephen on your new position. 4 months ago, I began a new chapter in my career path and it is very exciting indeed to start down a new road. Good luck in the future and happy holidays.

  16. Andrew Hiskens said

    Congratulations, Stephen, and best of luck for the new job/new year…

  17. Christine Mackenzie said

    We really enjoyed your visits Downunder Stephen, and wish you every success in your new endeavours. I wonder where we’ll bump into each other next!
    warm wishes
    Hi Chris and Mike:
    Soon I hope!

  18. Change is good. Change makes the world go round. Change is the only constant. Five years was probably just long enough, or maybe too long, especially for a self proclaimed ADHD patient 🙂 Hey, you’re a role model for the rest of us ADHD cases.
    It’s a good thing to spread the Stephen around. You’ll be awesome no matter where you end up. Too bad for SD, Gale is damn lucky to have you. The cynics will always be cynics and frankly that’s a crappy way to live – you’ve gotta feel sorry for them – or maybe not.
    I’m glad to hear that the lighthouse will remain lit. Keep sharing the knowledge, keeping us informed and making us wiser.
    All the best at Gale, for 2010 and beyond. Happy Holidays!!!!

  19. Best of luck to you and thank you for all your postings. You inspire and encourage me to grow as a professional. I really appreciate the way you take things from other parts of life and apply it to libraries (as in your recent menu and unintended consequences posts). ~ Julie

  20. Sandy Cameron said

    Go get ’em, Steve!