Archive for the 'collaboration' Category

Libraryman

Library 101.. ON BOING BOING!!!

WOW WOW WOW!!! The Library 101 Project made it to Boing Boing!!! So cool! Huge thanks to Cory and to Boing Boing, and again, thanks mostly to everyone that joined in the project so far (and still will). Libraries rock!!

David and I also want to thank the other librarians who sent this in to them too. As with this entire project, it has been a massive group effort, proving what astounding collaborators modern library staff are.

PS- If you don’t know Boing Boing you might give it a shot beyong scoping out Library 101. Of all the interweb sites out there on the tubes, this is one of my personal favorites.

Library 101 Made It To Boing Boing!!!

Libraryman

Library 101 Draft Lyrics

Thought it might be nice to get a sneak into the new Library 101 song that David and I are working on as it evolves. We’ve been doing a lot of back and forth this week on the music and lyrics and fell pretty close to having things on track. So with that, here is a little peeky peek at the first full draft of the lyrics!:

“When libraries first started out, we weren’t quite the dream,
See we were useful but were private clubs, that played host to a scene,
Intellectuals, rich folks, lawyers and deans,
But you can’t keep the people down, that’s what 101 means

Now for generations libraries, have been at freedoms core,
But now tech is making giant leaps, and we must do more.
There’s a cry for tech that lets all in, and helps us evolve.
And without that many libs with die, problems must be solved.

Chorus
101- our parts make a sum that will be the key to what is to come
101′s how we get the job done, evolve and make your Library 101!

As technology keeps marching on, change has become a must.
Basic 101 for libs has changed, we have to adjust.
Improve dig-i-tal con-tent ac-cess, or our info dreams die.
Become InfoGoogleDonalds “No!’, man we’ll tell you why.

Chorus
101- New basics have come, our role cant succumb to evo-lu-tion (yeah that would be dumb)
101 we’re beating the drum, Librarians, learn your Library 101!

Bridge 1
(In a very simple, raw punk rock style. Shouted/barked lyrics)
LIBRARIES! YOU ARE GREAT!
NOW CHANGE, MATE! NOT TOO LATE!
NOW NOW NOW DONT HESITATE
101′s YOUR *beeping* GATE
THERE’S STILL TIME TO EXTRICATE
ALL YOUR WEIGHT CAN’T CULMINATE
IN FAILURE. CO–MMUN—I—CATE!!!
NOW NOW NOW ITS NOT TOO LATE!
101 101 LI-BRAR-Y 101
101 101 LI-BRAR-Y 101
*howls, screams, oy, oy, oy, etc*
*cymbals crash, things fall over, feedback, annnnddd, back to the real song*

See your library needs to evolve, an ex-pan-ded brand.
Sure books meeting rooms and storytimes, are in all our plans.
But social tools are here to stay, so are media streams
You don’t get that from your library, should make your ears steam (for real)

101- New basics have come, our role cant succumb to evo-lu-tion
101′s how we get the job done, evolve and make your Library 101!

Bridge 2
(In the style of a boy band/dance music)
Library 101 You need to come get some
Follow tradition but go new directions and make course corrections and make it come
Library 101 You need to come get some
Reference and reading and classes and research
with Digital content check chat on net,
and though our budgets hurt We’ve got your wireless,
internet, SMS, you can bet, on:
Library 101, Now we must move along.
whooooooaaaaahhhh yeeeaaahhhh heyyyyyyy!
(sung soulfully and it slows the beat down segueing into the “real” 101 song/beats)

Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, and out.
101′s challenge can be won, we’ll get the job done while having some fun
101 we’re beating the drum, Librarians, learn your Library 101!
101 – li-braries are some, of de-moc-ro-cies most favorite sons
101′s how we get the job done, evolve and make your Library 101!
101 – Libs can’t be outdone, by com-pan-ies whose pro-fits can sure stun
101 – and in the long run, it’s what you get done with Library 101
101 – libraries aren’t done, but if we don’t change people will make fun
101 we’re beating the drum, Librarians, learn your Library 101!
101- We hope this was fun, we’re happy to talk ideas as they come
101-this song is now done, please go now and make your Library 101!”

Well there you go. Subject to change of course, but this is how its playing out. And remember, you can still be a part of the video, which again will be released in October, both live and in person and on the net, during a special session at the Internet Librarian Conference. We can really use lively, creative and colorful submissions! Video submission are especially welcome. Feel free to use the multicolored 101′s you see if you follow the link. Hope you like the lyrics and hope to see YOU in the Library 101 video!

    Video is up and linked below!

Song available for download very soon through a link on
David Lee King’s web page
!

There is a slew of Libraryland folks singing along in the video (mostly in the second half). Thank you guys!

Here is “hi-fi sci-fi library”…behind the music!

Several months ago LITA asked me to be one of their keynote speakers at their upcoming National Forum (October 16-19). This made me happy, proud, excited and, well, a little nervous. It also left me wondering…what should the theme of my presentation be? Hmmm… LITA, eh? The Library and Information Technology Association of the American Library Association? Well, lets see…I travel all over the place talking about libraries, library futures and emerging technology, right? And I believe we are in the midst of a sea change in library, culture, community and info services. And I am convinced there are things libraries need to do *right now* to ensure our relevance going forward. And while we are generally smart enough, we surely don’t get rich from our jobs…yet we keep at it. So we need some inspiration AND amusement! We all work so hard and we keep on believing that libraries will and MUST endure as society evolves. So why not talk about libraries present and future in light of current tech, future tech, academic futurism and, yes, science fiction! But what might get people’s toes tapping before the presentation? Yep! A groovy library song! A song that shares the same name as that upcoming presentation :”hi-fi sci-fi library”!

As far as I am concerned, what the world needs is a collection of “hi-fi sci-fi libraries”. And I was so excited about this idea that I just had to sing it out loud! But alas, I know how to play only the most basic of notes on the most basic of instruments. Soooo, I approached my most helpful and generous Libraryland buddy (and joint author of the “Internet Spotlight” column in each issue of Public Libraries Magazine), David Lee King. You see, before he worked in Libraryland, David worked in Nashville, in the music industry. And as you might imagine, David is also a fairly accomplished musician and producer (though he is far too humble to admit that to most folks despite his great talent and ability).

So I said to David: “David, I want to make a song and a video for this LITA presentation I am doing in the Fall. Something that both you and I could do together and can both believe in and get behind. I’m slightly nervous about this presentation for some reason, but I also see it as a GREAT opportunity to help get the word out about what we both believe in when it comes to society, library futures and technology. I have some basic song ideas and all the lyrics ready. Would you like to help me make a song and a video?”

And David, being the generous and thoughtful friend that he is said “Of course!”. Actually, he said something like “Well I like the idea for sure. Why don’t you write down your ideas and lyrics, send them to me and we might be able to work on it once things settle down a bit.” And, of course, things never did settle down, for either of us. So, slowly but surely we worked on it like a hobby for a few months.

Over the course of those months David and I sent musical ideas and lyrics and rhythmical concepts back and forth. Then, I arranged to spend a day with David in Kansas recording our song. No, it wasn’t easy. But yes, we actually DID IT! And lo and behold, one day of recording later….we had our song. AND a few goofy video files! So..we were really on our way!

With the song complete, it was time to make the video. And since David had done 85% of the musical work, it seemed only fair that *I* (non-Mac owner that I am btw) handle the video making responsibilities.

So I dove in. And, well, it took a couple of weeks. Actaully, it took almost a month. And it took contributions from librarians all across the planet. Literally! BUT…we now have a video. And it is, in my opinion, a pretty decent video. Sure, it is goofy! But it is also just as hopeful and honest as it is goofy.

And let me tell you…it was quite a project. A project involving weeks of editing and nearly 100 different video and audio files. Is it perfect? Nah! Is it a labor of love for Libraryland? Completely. And heck, some of you folks reading this might even be in the thing,lip syncing along to the jaunty little “hi-fi sci-fi LIBRARY!!” chorus.

So, on behalf of David and I, THANK YOU! Thank you so much to the folks that contributed to this video! We both hope it provides some inspiration and energy to the quest we are all on as library professionals as we strive to help libraries realize their unparalleled potential in this crazy, cool and even sometimes scary, hi-fi sci-fi world we all now live in.

Rock on, Libraryland! We hope you enjoy it!

-Michael

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Now playing: David Lee King & Michael Porter – hi-fi sci-fi library

From the last post you can see that David and I recorded a snappy little library song last week. We are really proud of the work we’ve produced and now YOU get a chance to be in the video!! It is jumpy little ditty about library futures, technology and how we will succeed as libraries.
Please listen to this short snippet and then…..shoot a brief video of you singing along! Thats all it takes! You can use a web cam, or any other camera you like and send it to the email below. It should really only take a few minutes on your end, and after we get the videos, we’ll take the best and put them in the video we are hard at work on! Of course, please also feel free to send other video that might go along with the title/theme of the song “hi-fi sci-fi library” (costumes are very welcome by the way!:)
So join in the fun and star in a video with us! This is your official invite! We are looking forward to seeing YOU in our upcoming video!

Here is a link to the very short snippet to sing along with (you can download it even if you want). The “hi-fi sci-fi library” part is what we really need to see you singing.

If you have you have a webcam, you really should be emailing your video to: michael.libraryman *At Sign**gmail.com

Please send your clips in to the above address no later than August 24th, 2008.

We are really looking forward to seeing you in the video with us!!!!!!!!!

-Michael Porter and David Lee King

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Now playing: David Lee King & Michael Porter – hi-fi sci-fi library

This still is taken from a promotional video about facebook*:
built by the people...for FACEBOOK

REALLY?
Well…maybe not so much.
You see, as things continue to evolve in relation to social networking and information access online, this premise starts to become something startlingly close to propaganda. And it is a premise I am beginning to disagree with more strongly. Why? Simply because facebook is a for-profit company. Their motivation as a business both officially and in practice is to make money. While I am positive there are many lovely people working there that are generous, kind and philanthropically minded, the bottom line is that facebook is a company that is very simply most interested in getting people to use their product; not so they can be useful to society, but so they can make money. And they will use they information they get from you to do just that. With no obligation beyond laws (largely constructed to facilitate money making in business) to guard your privacy. And they are under absolutely no obligation to return anything back to the community. Even if the *say* they are nice and want to do good, they are, in fact not formally bound to taking any actions in this regard.

Now, it is very true that facebook is an amazing service that many of us use, appreciate and are grateful to have access to (myself included). But society needs the opportunity to use these sorts of tools and features in a venue that both understands and guards privacy while at the same time protects information access rather then sells information paths of choice (through ads). An institution that is designed to build up the community it nurtures…you know, like libraries and schools.

And it goes beyond facebook-like tools (for community futures). I would suggest that Google-like tools (for search/basic information discovery) should have the same non-profit, ad-free (for the most part), purely motivated capacity as well for the greatest public benefit.

Problem is, when it comes to the future of libraries, and modern/connected civilization’s access to electronic (and physical) community and information access this is blatantly missing from the too dominant tools in electronic search (arguably, Google) and electronic community building (arguably, facebook). And what is missing is starting to feel more dramatic and chasm-like with each passing month.

Libraries need to continue (and significantly grow) their work as professional guardians of community access to information. This means we (libraries and library professionals) need to be the most highly trained facilitators the world has when it comes to information access, community connections, community interactions, privacy protection and electronic tools. You know, the things at the root of the popularity of tools like facebook and Google. The things libraries have been best at for decades (sans the electronic tools part, which is our only real achilles heel in this scenario).

I wish both information professionals and society at large would really seriously think about this. And then act on it in an organized fashion. College professors, primary school teachers, parents, politicians, students and anyone else concerned about the positive growth of humanity should think about this. The “market” does not always dictate what works best for society and this is an instance that requires larger forces than “the market” to intercede. If that doesn’t happen, because of Google-ish and facebook-like tools, our free, unbiased access to information and community stands at risk. There is a potential crisis brewing here and there are not enough people talking about solutions to this crisis in the context mentioned in this post.

It becomes more clear to me with every passing month: some amalgam of social networking tools (like facebook) and for profit search tools (like Google) should be a non-profit that helps people along in their community and information access journeys. All the while guarding their privacy in ways facebook and Google would never dare. Perhaps opt-in’s for users to accept ads could be built into that system to generate revenue to support the system, but in a less integrated way that didn’t affect workforce in the manner it currently does, particularly on facebook at the moment.

So far, facebook has been thumped on here, but Google is in the same boat. Like almost all of you, I use Google almost every day as well. And I am grateful for Google. But words like “Don’t be evil” as a corporate “Code of Conduct” legally means NOTHING (as opposed to a library’s mission statement and governance structure) If you do believe Google cares about ideals more than money, ask who controls their purse strings. Or look at the official Google URL the describes their code: http://investor.google.com/conduct.html. investor.google.com tells us quite clearly where their corportae priorities exist. And what their official mission and business plan entails. Compare Google’s “Code of Conduct” to ANY mission statement** at a Public Library and ask yourself: “Who do YOU want to control and steer you along as you seek information?” Which point of view would most people choose to support given this information?

Misleading content like that in the facebook video above and things like the Google Librarian Librarian projects hold more potential threat than it would first seem. At recent ALA conferences the Google booth was a very popular stop. Many librarians eagerly made videos about how great Google was for libraries…and then *poof* Google disappears from Libraryland for almost a year on their project blog and are nowhere to be found at this years ALA conference. It is that we aren’t importnat enough customers to get Google to stick with us? Did they get what they wanted from us (support) until they didn’t need it anymore? Each side has it’s perspective, but I assure you, Google attends the conferences it feels it needs to. They certainly aren’t staying away because they are short on funds. It most certainly is, at the very least a curious case of unexplained absence. Not the thing to do in the electronic information and community access environment we find ourselves today. It seems that if Google clearly understood this and did have their mission at the front of their minds, they would have thought this through more carefully and acted accordingly.

To this information professional and electronic community activist, it comes down to this: Google and facebook are both businesses, out to make money. Libraries exist to serve their community with information access and community connection opportunities. If individuals or corporations like Google, facebook, etc, really want to get good things done with community, and if you truly care about community and information access, I would implore you to work with library and information professionals, library schools and organizations like OCLC and ALA. Give them resources, support their work with what you are good at, bind yourselves intimately to their success. THAT would do no evil! Most importantly I would ask you to support your local library. And do so in a way that guarantees that participation as long as your company thrives. THEN I will think about giving you wider support and endorsement and not just think of you as a case study in what Libraryland needs to do to succeed without being taken advantage of and potentially usurped by you. Technology is a tool, and we simply mustn’t allow libraries to become a tool that gets less and less useful as it is usurped by a tool that is guided simply by money, with no permanent obligation to give back. That is one of the deepest societal tragedies I can imagine and its consequences would truly be severe and horrible.

*facebook image taken from this video. It appears you are required to be a registered user to view this video.

**Yep, that is a Google search result link.

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Now playing: Beck – Youthless