Opening the doors to a new opportunity...

Doorways are often used as metaphors for research, inquiry, and discovery. If you visit the Tennessee State Library and Archives, one of the first things you'll notice when you approach the entry to the building is its large doors. TSLA's current building was dedicated in 1952, and was designed during the onset of the Cold War at a time when safety and security were foremost in the minds of most Americans. Architects designed the entry doors into the Tennessee State Library and Archives to project a sense of authority, giving the public a feeling that the records held there were safe and secure.

Fast forward to today. We now live in a 21st century society that values openness, transparency, and collaboration. While the physical architecture of TSLA's building hasn't changed and the sense of authority and security remains, the philosophy of doing business in the digital age and the ubiquity of social media as a communication tool have dramatically altered user expectations. The doorway to the Tennessee State Library and Archives now represents much more than an opening to our past. It represents a pathway to the future.

Next week a new door opens for me at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, as I begin work there as TSLA's new Director of Public Services. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve the public and to share my passion for archives, libraries, Tennessee history, and social media in this new role.

The Internet has made it possible to access collections and services anywhere at anytime. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has made online access to public services a priority, and believe that access to TSLA's rich resources should not be confined exclusively to the physical location of the building. Through the pages of this blog and through social media, I have been a vocal advocate of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and now I have been tasked with opening TSLA's doors even wider through social media. I am honored to be a part of the staff at TSLA, and look forward to working with my new colleagues in a collaborative way on new and innovative ideas to serve our patrons, and to open more doorways to the public.

As I transition into my new job at TSLA, updates on The Posterity Project in the near term may be limited, but I plan to resume a regular blogging schedule very soon and I am very enthusiastic about the future! In the meantime, I want to thank you -- my readers -- for your interest, comments, and support. This blog turned four years old on July 9th, and over those years I have been very blessed to be surrounded by friends and colleagues in the archival community, and supporters of this blog who have all played a role in guiding me to this point in my career. You have helped me open the doors to a brand new opportunity, and for that I am truly grateful.

Gordon Belt is an information professional, archives advocate, public historian, and author of The History Press book, John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, which examines the life of Tennessee's first governor, John Sevier, through the lens of history and memory. On The Posterity Project, Gordon offers reflections on archives, public history, and memory from his home state of Tennessee.