We are once again approaching my favorite holiday. To me it is a holiday grounded in the idea of community. I give thanks for all I have and topping this list are the people in my life.
I have always purported that archives are all about community. Individual stories sit together in special collections, while the handiwork of individuals makes up the institutional archives. We are surrounded by people who are walking stories. The archivist attempts to capture the essence of each individual and their communities to save and share with posterity.
This month, I have been listing something for which I am thankful, each day. I think about my friends. Their diversity rounds out my life, while their uniqueness touches my soul. I think about all of my communities - my family, my coworkers, and my students. Of course - always my students. They allow me to show them every day what community means to my, why it's important and how it can enhance their lives. Together we are working to build a library and archives that shows the best of who we are; that lets us reflect on our knowledge of ourselves, boost it with information about others, and aspire to greater things.
I have talked on this blog in the past about a tradition I uphold with my daughter each year. We make a tree of thanks and add as many leaves as we can to tell for what we are thankful. I took this tradition to my school library when I began there two years ago. I have discussed the library tree of thanks in this blog too. Now is the time to get it going again. Our tree of thanks will be made of all of our hand prints, this year. Each student will trace and cut out their hand to tape to the library wall with a message about for what they are thankful. This is one of the best traditions I have started and I hope that you may find room in your own lives, even in your own institutions, to reflect on how your community influences you; how being thankful for what you have helps strengthen bonds.
Finally, I would like to say that this marks a turning point on the ArchivesInfo blog. when I began this school journey two years ago, I wasn't sure I was making the right choice. I wasn't sure if a school environment was right for me, if the teens would welcome me, if my unusual ideas would be accepted. I have found a second home in the arms of educators and now consider myself one of them. I have been taking some education classes and have plans to pursue a degree in advanced graduate studies. It is my hope that I can continue to show the role of community in the school and that my own education will enhance my writing. I am an archivist at my core, but I am more than that. I am a librarian, information specialist and most of all, I am an a teacher. I hope that you stick with me on this journey. I am thankful for you all.