by Susan Fifer Canby, Convener, ENCORE: Retired Members Caucus
If you are fifty-plus years, retirement has doubtless been on your mind, unless you’ve already transitioned to life beyond full-time employment. And if you’ve focused on the dictionary definition of retirement — “to withdraw oneself from business, active service, or public life; to disappear, to take out of circulation; withdrawn or secluded; difficult to be seen, known, or discovered” — you might wonder why anyone would even consider it!
Thinking about retirement is really about reinventing – about finding the proper balance in life. I know I don’t want or intend to work full-time for any one organization again, because I would like more balance and diversity in my life than was possible working full-time (even for National Geographic Society!). How about you? Where do you stand on the question of how you want to be spending your time in the next chapter of your life?
SLA President Cindy Romaine is encouraging us all to be future-ready. Part of that preparation is thinking about that next chapter and considering how SLA might help with the transition. Many of your colleagues are preparing for or have launched their encore careers. Many of us have reached the precipice and discovered life is a cycle of beginnings and endings. As our work as we knew it ended, whole new beginnings started.
As a growing cohort within society, we share the opportunity to work together to improve the balance in our life AND to find our new path within SLA. A little work on your part will enable you to engage creatively.
Plan to be at SLA Conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 14 to attend Stephen Abram’s session on demographics of our cohort and ideas for the future. Stephen, a contributing author to the book “Boomers & Beyond”(ALA Editions 2010), will describe some of the expected changes in the post-post WW2 generation retired cohort. What technologies do we prefer – or reject? What will be our information and reading choices? What are the opportunities for a full and long retirement?
We have created a wiki, http://wiki.sla.org – choose ENCORE featuring stories of some who have already started new chapters and their tips for the rest of us. You will also see recommended readings. You can add your own story, advice or questions on the ENCORE blog or respond to this blog. You can ask questions and talk to your ENCORE cohort on the listserv email@example.com.
Help prepare for your future, by joining ENCORE for only $12 – which can be added to your SLA membership dues if you call Headquarters Michelle Garvin at SLA Headquarters 1.703.647.4937 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Philadelphia!
Best, Susan Fifer Canby, Convener, ENCORE: Retired Members Caucus
Susan Fifer Canby retired in 2010 and was named Vice President, emeritus, at National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. She applied more than 34 years of information management experience to shape and direct the Society’s libraries and information services. She served on the SLA Board as Chapter Cabinet Chair and is a past president of SLA’s DC Chapter, the DC Library Association, and CAPCON Board. She was recognized by SLA in 2001 as the Innovator of the Year, received the SLA Factiva Leadership Award in 2005, and her library was recognized by SLA as a “Center of Excellence” for management.