Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Columbus, home sweet home away from home

Yesterday I was chatting with George on the phone when I mentioned that I was on my way to Columbus, Ohio for a visit to OCLC, otherwise known by us "regional" staff as "the mothership". He says - oh - will you be here with Janet (a WebJunction colleague)? No - I say - she's coming in for an entirely different reason altogether! I guess I'll see you both there!

Then today when I was getting on the plane bound for Columbus, Ohio - a standard connection through Minneapolis / St. Paul - I ran into Jennifer Hootman from MINITEX, on her way to ... where else? ... Columbus, Ohio. (We happen to be traveling to the same event - WebJunction Community Partner training for WebJunction Minnesota - which - we're so excited about - but that's another story...) .

Just then the nice lady in front of me says "Do you work for OCLC?" and I say "Yes - I do!" and then the guy behind me says "I do too! We work for RLG/OCLC, live in Mountain View, and it's our first trip to Columbus, Ohio." If we had done a poll, I now realize, who knows how many people on that plane were bound for OCLC. Next time, I think we should try to get a carpool going from the airport.

You know what? It felt pretty great. Not only was I suddenly the "insider" who had been to Columbus and OCLC more times than anybody can shake a stick at. But also there was a sense that I work, sometimes closely, sometimes remotely, with all these wonderful people - most of them folks who really care about and work hard for both libraries & communities. Although I have my share of challenging workdays, like anyone, it feels really good to be here.

And ... although I'll certainly be happy to get back on the plane for my own hometown when our work here is finished on Friday, Columbus really is a sweet place to visit and get connected to.


George said...

Larry Black, the former director of Columbus Metropolitan Library, used to say that Columbus is a great place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit here. That's a little harsh on the visiting (we have two European high schools students staying with us throughout July on a cultural exchange, and they seem to having a good time) but this really is a wonderful place to live, unless you want perfect weather.

chrystie said...

hmmm. i'm much more into the visiting. maybe because i'm a weather perfectionist!