Turn the Page


Well, I don’t know quite how to say this delicately, so I guess I’ll fall back on the old standby of just blurting it out. My days as a school librarian are most likely over. The district I was working in closed two schools in three years and ended up with five schools and six librarians. That made me odd man out. (Literally, odd MAN. I was the only guy librarian in the district). Of course, the year doesn’t end until June 4 and my contract technically runs through June 30, but that’s all “on paper” stuff, really. State testing started yesterday and I’ve got more days of leave accumulated than there are school days left. Add to all that some simmering bad blood between me and a couple of colleagues and, well, let’s just say I’ll be using all those “sick days” regardless of if I want to or not. I meet with the personnel director tomorrow morning at 9:00 to discuss exactly how I’ll be spending the last three weeks of this school year, but I’d advise all you who are betting types out there to put your money on “paid administrative leave” and, believe you me, I’ll be more than thankful if that’s all it turns out to be. So I’m officially back in the job market and I’m pretty sure my next source of income won’t be a school district. This will be the yet another time I’ll have left my metaphorical bridges pretty much the same way General Sherman left Atlanta.

So, I’m going to take the blog in a little different direction. As you can see if you’ve been a reader before, I’ve already changed the name a bit. Basically, I’m dropping all pretext of being an expert in anything, especially an expert librarian. I’m going to focus more on what comes naturally to me and that’s storytelling and commentary. I spent a big chunk of my early formative years in the back room of Papa Wham’s auto parts store listening to crusty veterans of World War II swap war stories, fishing stories, and a few stories that Granny Wham would have blistered my hide just for standing around to listen to.

Each of those elderly gentlemen is gone now, and I fervently hope they achieved a well-deserved rest, but their stories and the stories my grandparents and other older relatives told me during family reunions, church suppers, and power outages left me with a tremendous appreciation for word and phrase. As I’ve grown older, I’ve acquired more than a few stories of my own and I hope to share those with you as well.

So there you have it. Grocery Store Feet walk on, just in a slightly different direction. I hope those of you who began this journey with me find it worthwhile to stay with me. Hopefully, I’ll make it worth your while. Until the next time, don’t forget to wash your feet, y’all! 🙂

4 responses »

  1. I truly believe that our state and profession is on the losing end of this deal. Your enthusiasm, honesty, obvious love of books and the students and of what we as librarians are tasked with doing, and ability to cut to the heart of any matter you were discussing, are exactly what the profession and education need; and now we’re losing you to what my husband terms the inevitable move to mediocrity that cuts out anything or anyone that challenges or attempts to rise above or beyond the bureaucracy and common-place-ness of the workplace. I wish you all the best in the coming months, and will look forward to hearing your voice here and watching where your footprints lead.

  2. Shannon, you know I wish you only the best in whatever path life takes you, but it breaks my heart that K-12 education doesn’t value and will lose someone with your talent, vision, honesty, and passion. No one is hiring from outside school districts around here because of the economic conditions, but I know I would be honored to work with you any day of the week! Our library profession needs to be gaining people like YOU, not losing them!

    I hope that you will find your grocery store feet back into a library soon, but until then, I will look forward to hearing your stories that you have to share with us. I truly wish you the very, very best!

    Buffy Hamilton

  3. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. You have a wonderful gift and as your site traffic clearly indicates, many many people feel as I do and love to visit and enjoy your stories. The school district you are leaving is the “biggest loser”. You on the other hand will rise up on “grocery feet” and move onward to bigger and better things!

  4. I have to believe your leaving is educations loss. I love your blog and stories and wish you all the best. Ours is one of the few professions that insists everyone blend. You undoubtedly have made some great differences in the lives of kids. Just doesn’t seem right somehow. All the best to you

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