My father-in-law — who was big on the lecture circuit before he retired from optometry — always says that you are valued as a speaker in direct proportion to the distance from your home. So, the further away you are from home, the more you should be valued. If that’s true, then speaking locally is more of an honor in many ways than speaking on the other side of the country. So I feel extremely lucky that my next two talks are going to be given in Vermont, in one case, two minutes from my house!

This Wednesday evening (7pm), I’m giving a talk on Web 2.0 and the Future of Libraries at the Aldrich Public Library in my hometown of Barre, Vermont. The talk is free, so anyone in the area who wants to come is welcome. It’s an interesting presentation for me (and a little scary) because the intended audience is not librarians, though some will probably show. The talk is actually geared towards the public as it’s the first in a lecture series on the future of libraries. I was extremely flattered to be asked to speak at my hometown library and hope I do them proud. I’m particularly excited to go to the third talk in the series on the Espresso Book Machine that the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont has (first indy bookstore in the US to have one — go VT!).

On May 14th, Jessamyn and I will be giving a talk at the Vermont Library Association’s Annual Conference on Top Web Trends. While we’ve seen each other speak, we’ve never actually given a talk together, so I’m very excited about that.

As much as I enjoy gallivanting around and giving talks, it’s really nice to give a talk and still be able to come home to my husband that evening. I have some awesome trips coming up this year (Puerto Rico and Iceland being the biggies), but I’m now a lot more selective about what I do. While I do enjoy speaking, it can be exhausting especially when you’re also balancing a full-time job, writing, teaching a graduate-level class, and oh yeah, having a life (as if). Balance is one of those things that has been in short supply over the past few years and I’m determined to change that. So I’ll be doing a lot less speaking and will focus more on projects I can do from home.