Archive for March, 2007


When A Stranger Asks

On occasion, strangers looking up info on the Gates Foundation (usually via Google which points them to a few pages) contact me to ask what it was like working as a part of the US Library Program. This happened again tonight and I thought I’d share my response here:

Hi *****,

I worked as part of the US Library program at the Gates Foundation for several years, doing training in public libraries all around the country. The libraries we served had 10% or higher poverty rates (this includes almost every public library, sadly). It was an amazing job and experience that I am grateful to have taken part in. However, that program wrapped in 2003 and roughly 95% of the US Library Program folks were laid off. We knew it ws coming so it wasn’t a bad or unexpected thing for us.

I found BMGF to be a model employer and an organization that had an astounding number or driven, intelligent and caring people working there.

However, I do know that It is very difficult to gain employment there and they are flooded with very high quality applicants even when there are no jobs for them. I would encourage you to pursue your interests, but temper you interest in working for this specific foundation with the understanding that it is amazingly difficult to get a job there.

Happily there are lots of other orgs out there doing very good work that are also exciting, positive and contribute to the good of society in important ways. I wish you well in your search!


If folks as about conslusions drawn for my time at the Gates Foundation, I point them to this article. It’s a few years old, but the points are still right on. I guess I have to say that though since it’s an article I wrote, eh? Here’s a link.


Hello Goodbye Hello

Well, well, well! It appears that the Gremlins that visited last week have finally been run off to go pester someone else. In other words, the site is now totally back up (and even slightly improved). There have been a few blog posts that couldn’t be added over the last week and I really hope to get them up over the weekend. A couple pretty nifty things have happened ’round libraryman way!

In the meantime to give this post a bit of content, here is my updated upcoming presentation schedule (more are in works too. Wo hoo!). It seems appropriate to send out some genuine thanks to both the institutions that have hosted (or allowed me to:) speak with/to them. Also, a huge thanks to the overwelmingly patient, responsive and truly impressive audiences I have been so fortunate to engage with. It really is an honor each and every time and I always strive to do my best so your time and attention is honored. If you’ll be around for any of the following, I look forward to meeting you!


NWEG -Northwest Endeavor (Ex-Libris) User Group -June 7
Emerging Library Fulfillment: Challenges and Opportunities for Libraries and Patrons
Keynote – Spokane, WA


Brooklyn Public Library Emerging Technology Conference -May 7
Practical, Fun and Easy: High value emerging library technologies you can use now.
Keynote – Brooklyn, NY

Santiago Library System/MCLS -May 2
Los Angeles, CA


Washington Library Association Conference -April 18-21
Libraries, Portable Electronics and Media Access Futures
Tri-Cities, WA


iEdge @ UW -March 28
Research Shapes WebJunction: Web Design and E-Learning
(with contributions from Rachel Van Noord and Chrystie Hill)
Seattle, WA
(Just took part in this one Wednesday and big kudos go out the the UW folks that put this surrisingly valuable, informative and effective conference together. I hope you continue to do it as it is a high value proposition imo).

*A gigantic thank you to the always helpful and amazingly savvy, Kris Bell for helping sort out what happened to the site and how to approach a solution. He also talked me down from my expletive riddled tirade, which was sorely needed as I was in the office at the time. (Not really!;). Anyway, thanks again Kris, you are solid gold.*


Being Poked Can Feel Like A Hug

Poked By My Homies II

From a quick email conversation today about conference presentations comes a blog entry about a word that I have been holding close and have also been sharing more and more: Fulfillment. Fulfillment is not a new concept to library folks by any means, but it is different now than before. We are seriously gearing up towards a Libraryland with previously unimaginably rich fulfillment deeply at its core. A new, more dynamic, more rewarding and engaging type of fulfillment. A fulfillment that every brand wishes they could deliver. Except we are poised to actually do it! How? Oh my, that could be a book. Or a job in LibaryLand! ;)

It seems to me this is really the core of what we are all working towards, reading about, talking about, thinking about, blogging about, etc, etc…and it?s become pretty crystal (a fluid crystal of course) in my mind that this is our future. Our challenging, opportunity filled and delivery rich future. Here is what I sent my friend about presentation themes:

“My new key word for presentations is Fulfillment. I love that word. It is the big word for me. Each presentation I give (and many of the casual conversations I have as well… I know, it’s sad;) include me saying: “Libraries do two things: content and community”. Fulfillment is the answer for libraries in relation to the content section of that equation. Community is a whole other happy ball of wax, though fulfillment is certainly a big part of that as well.

What is Fulfillment? This is part of it.
Gimme, Gimme is also a healthy part of Fulfillment:
Gimme Gimme Gimme Set & Summary

Well now we’ve gone and done it. No more hiding the silly presentation jokes from the general public any longer. You see, Steve Lawson and I just finished our flickr presentation that was our contribution to the Five Weeks To A Social Library series that is in full swing right now. Even though we just gave our presentation this afternoon, you can already listen to it and view the entire archived presentation here. Wow! That was fast! Thanks Tom Peters! (Be warned that the video/slides will not work if you use Firefox, just IE.)

Thanks very much to all the organizers and also to everyone that attended. Steve and I worked pretty hard to present valuable content in a manner that would be both practical and entertaining. Feel free to take a look and see for yourself.
flickr for Social Libraries: Presentation

Thanks again to all the folks that attended and also to all the Five Weeks To A Social Library organizers Thanks also Meredith Farkas, Tom Miller, Karen Coombs and Steve Lawson, (my most excellent co-presentor). It was fun!

Love writing? Love libraries? Love building community? Love working with electronic/web tools? Love editing? Are you hard working? Nice? Here?s the perfect Seattle job for you!

WebJunction, an online community for library staff, is hiring immediately for a staff editor to lead our content development activities. This is a two-year temporary full-time position, and is located in Seattle, Washington. The position will report to the Content Manager at WebJunction in Seattle and work closely with the WebJunction Community Manager, also located in Seattle. WebJunction is an online community for public library staff. Launched in May of 2003, WebJunction now has over 22,000 members and formal partnerships with more than a dozen other library organizations. WebJunction is a project of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., and receives a portion of its funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Staff Editor will report to the WJ Content Manager, and will be responsible for continuing the growth of content and editorial programs at The Staff Editor will be responsible for:
? Working with WebJunction Community Partners, program staff, member volunteers, and other content partners to develop new content for the site.
? Developing and managing volunteer content contribution and content management programs.
? (In consultation with the Content and Community managers) setting direction for content development subject areas, and adjusting content development activities based on usage statistics and user feedback.
? Preparing content items on a variety of library topics for publication, and posting them to the WJ site.
? Maintaining the existing WebJunction content collection, including managing the subject taxonomy, and ensuring content currency and relevance.
? Writing the monthly WebJunction newsletter.
? Work with other staff leaders to coordinate content development with community building and e-learning activities.”


A Happily Converged Recursive Spiral

This image in this post is just slightly freaky when you read what it includes and how the image came to be posted to the blog tonight. It’s deep, shallow and goes ’round and ’round.
So yesterday I blogged about Pandora and libraries (again, sorry), tonight I was working a bit at home and listening away to my good friend Pandora when a “frame ad” came up around the player. The ad? It was from the folks at Palm, for the Treo. In this series of ads, they mention the different ways you can integrate a Treo into your life. Interestingly, the ad I saw highlighted flickr. So, I whip out my Treo, while listening to Pandora, take a picture of the flickr/Treo/Palm/Pandora screen and upload it to flickr. Then I go into my blog editing software and write this post. Which will now include some code that will make a picture showing you an amazingly deep example of convergence show up for you. Enjoy!
Hyper Recursive