I interviewed someone yesterday (weâ€™re looking for a managing editor/operations manager) and was disconcerted to find tears welling in my eyes as I explained something about Berkshire Publishing. It was something Iâ€™ve said dozens of times before, that our small enterprise is all about people and ideas, and that itâ€™s the people we work with who make what we do possible. I said, â€œThose networks, those relationships, are the most important thingâ€â€”-and felt the warm rush of tears! Iâ€™m pretty sure the person I was talking to didnâ€™t notice, but Iâ€™ve been thinking about how deeply I feel that, and wondering how I can ensure that as we grow we maintain the human connections that make the work we do so rewarding.
This isnâ€™t abstract, some generalized good will. Itâ€™s Becky Clarkâ€™s emailing Marcy, Margaux, and me a hilarious account of going to the emergency room, after being in a car accident, and having to explain that she is deaf and isnâ€™t pregnant before she could finally get the treatment she needed. Becky says sheâ€™s still in touch with Ben Manning, an editorial assistant from England who left us in 2000! Itâ€™s seeing Bill McNeill, as we will this evening, and being inspired by his graciousness and insight, and talking about another project we might do together. Itâ€™s the world history teachers weâ€™re getting to know, people like Monty Armstrong and Kik Kimball who are deeply committed to their work and their students, and amusing to boot. I could write about many publishing and librarian friends, tooâ€”-and I know weâ€™ll be making many more of them over the next year, as we develop a US and then an international book about â€œThe Libraries We Love.â€
Those who know me may be surprised at this display of emotion, but that, too, is what blogs are for!