Archive for the 'Fellow Librarians' Category

A few weeks back I asked a question on my facebook profile page just to see what would happen. Would people answer? Would they think about their answers, be funny, rude, or ??? Here’s what popped up. All in all a lovely snapshot, from a (mostly) fine bunch of thinkers. Thanks for sharing your answers. New questions will pop up soon. Having said that, you know, I didn’t ask any of these folks if they would mind if I posted their answer on this blog. Is that an issue? Hmmmm…… If it bugs anybody who posted an answer lmk, but since the profile page is public there didn’t seem to be any violation of privacy. Yes?

Answers To A Library Question

Also, here’s a picture of my facebook friends, in handy wheel form, revealing connections between folks mapped on the wheel. It’s a handy, interesting and revealing device. Ahhh, sweet data visualization. You will see below that, well, I hardly have any friends on facebook that aren’t library staffers (or at least connected to at least one other Libraryland person on facebook). Try making your own friend wheel on facebook to see what it reveals about you! Hmmmm, think of the possible ramifications! :)

(click to find path to larger, readable version):
facebook Friends Wheel Aug 07


Big Announcement

It is party time ‘round Libraryman way my friends! And it’s a community party, which means that you are invited (see the next to last paragraph of this blog post for you invitation details). At this party, you get to tell me a story or two…..and I get to write. A book. For ALA Editions!
Libraryman Celebrates
While I’m bursting to tell you about my first book deal ever, Jenni Fry, Editor at ALA Editions tells the story in a much calmer and more reasonable voice:
“At Midwinter (2007) in Seattle, no fewer than three people sought me out, one even stopping me on the street, to tell me that “Michael Porter’s got an idea” for a book. Never one to be too slow on the uptake, I made sure to talk with him at a reception we were both attending. Several conversations and one contract later, I’m thrilled to say that Michael (aka Libraryman) will be writing for us.

Just what is this big idea, you say? Michael will be interviewing and gathering stories from individuals and institutions that have become leaders in successful electronic community engagement. He will use these stories as the basis for real-world lessons that libraries can use to more effectively engage the communities they serve. The work will be many things: part historical snapshot of this transition period in library service, part motivational storytelling, part benchmarking, and part practical handbook.”

Of course, Jenni is being a generous friend and editor because as I remember the story, it was I who tracked her down, two minute book pitch/elevator speech on the tip of my eager tongue. Regardless of how it happened, they did actually sign the contract so it is now legal and everything. In fact, I’ve taken a couple of stabs at an intro. Here’s one that is close:

“This is a book about effective and practical electronic community engagement. It is a book bursting with valuable, moving, entertaining, exciting and often times unusual stories and ideas. The stories all have lessons that center on people engaging with electronic community in ways that make the players more human. Each centrally themed collection of stories concludes with lessons learned, ideas and action items you can put to use in your library, business or personal life.”

I hope you like it, ‘cause unless the ALA folks say no, that’s how the book will go.
Now I get to thank a few folks that made this happen and then I’ll give you the official Michael Porter invitation to the party. Here goes:
Thanks to Jenni Fry and Patrick Hogan at ALA Editions for making this happen.
A whole slew of thank you’s to Chrystie Hill, who has a book coming out very soon herself and who also really helped align the stars that spelled out Y E S to this book proposal.
Also, thanks to Janie Hermann, who unbeknownst to me, also smiled upon this project.

The biggest thanks however go to the audience for and major subject matter of the book, that is, the inspirational and motivational colleagues I am blessed to know and work with. Does it crack anybody else up that simply thanking all the Jennifers’, Davids’, Michaels’ and Karens’ out there in Libraryland covers half of us?  Seriously though, thank you for helping to make this the most exciting time ever to work in libraries. This project will succeed because of you. Which leads me to your invitation to the party!

Your invitation:
This is my first public request for both library and NON-LIBRARY stories of community engagement. If you have had a story the has sprung to life from a single, or series of electronic community building tools and would be willing to share, please let me know so others can learn from it in this book! The more dramatic, intense, moving, informative, useful, practical and entertaining are obviously desirable. However, the beauty of subtlety is appreciated here as well. Even sending a one or two paragraph summary of a noteworthy community engagement story in your life could be a genuinely helpful inclusion in the book. So please think about your stories and consider sharing them with this book’s future audience. You can e-mail them to me at: michael.libraryman at sign

I have some good content, substantial ideas and leads already, BUT we really need lots of stories like the ones described above from all over. In fact, they do not have to come from just library staffers. Non-library stories of electronic community engagement will make up the majority of those exemplified and examined in this book. That means if you have friends or family with stories that could enhance this book, I would LOVE to hear them!

Finally, this is my first book deal, so I am especially excited. I believe there is real benefit for Libraryland in the subject matter and approach here, which makes the project really pop for me as a librarian, practical tech advocate and author. But frankly, I don’t plan on trying to write a huge number of books. That means I truly believe in the idea and will work hard to make this useful, practical and helpful for us all. So for me, it is a big deal. And while it is a very happy project with lots of interesting work in store, I would like to end this announcement by thanking my dear grandma, Irene Porter-Baer. Grandma passed a way a few years ago but she was always one of my best friends, closest allies and strongest champions. I wouldn’t have been able to attend college or grad school without her help, so this opportunity would not have come to pass without her. I miss her and think of her often. I also try my best to make a proud legacy for her with my work. It is just another motivation to make this book be the best I can make it for us all. So either in the books’ introduction or conclusion I will thank you folks in Libraryland, and I will also thank my inspirational grandma that I owe a huge part of this current opportunity to.

Now please send me your stories of electronic community engagement, people! 

ALA Editions Book Deal Blog Post
PS-I’ll bet my editors are quaking in fear the the entire book will be as turgid as this blog post. Hey, at least I used the word “turgid”! :) <–Note to self, no emoticons in the book.


Librarians In Shower Caps!

Fave flickr group of the day: Librarians In Shower Caps. Mosaic below justifies opinion:

Librarians In Shower Caps Mosaic

Thanks to Rochelle for creating the group and to all of the fab models! I propose the tag “libshowercaps” for all photos in this group. :)

PS-Here’s a link to a similar group called “Librarians In Hardhats”. An oldie but a goodie!


What Is You Internet Spotlight?

Do you have one or two Internet tools/sites that you *really* love?

I’m writing an article about Library folks that have found an Internet tool (or two) that has really captured your imagination and attention. I need to gather 5-10 stories. If you share you idea for the article I’ll cite you and give you and your library a happy little plug in a major Libraryland publication (unless you would rather be anonymous of course).

My paragraph long “Internet Spotlight Tool” write up looks like this:
“My “Internet Spotlight” would have to be flickr (obvious to lots of you, I know:). Flickr helps me communicate visually, which I enjoy greatly, allowing me to record and share highlights and beauty from everyday life. This same visual communication tool also helps me share Libraryland info. For instance, I use pictures I’ve uploaded to flickr to populate my blog with photos. Perhaps most importantly though, flickr lets me connect with other people in Libraryland. One huge way flickr does this is though groups. Flickr lets me participate in and even create interest themed groups. In these groups I can connect with like minded people to communicate, share, inspire and work toward mutual goals. The Libraries and Librarians Group and the 365 Library Days Project Group (an ongoing library advocacy project that you too can join in on) are the best examples of this for me.”

That took me about 10 minutes to write and will now be put in print. Why not take 10 minutes yourself and send me your story too? Purty please? Feel free to leave your story in the comments and/or email the story too at michael.libraryman *At Sign* gmail *Dot* com.

Thanks everybody! :)


Cram It In Your iPod

Or other electronic listening device of your preference:
Open Source – Passion: Libraries. It will mostly make you feel quite happy.

Go, go Amanda!!!


I’m In UR Brithdaz

To Meredith and Sam and also to Michael:

Phor MS and His Birthdaz


Look, Ma! I Made A Meebo Room!

Just in the chatty fun!


Three Library Books To Buy

Postcards promoting these three hot books finally arrived today. The books are not dorky, despite how I look in this picture. :)

Buying all three.  You?

Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service
- Casey and Savastinuk
The Thriving Library: Successful Strategies for Challenging Times

- Block
Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication and Community Online
– Farkas
All available at:


Being Poked Can Feel Like A Hug

Poked By My Homies II


It’s True, She Really Did

It's True.

She Blinded Me With Science” was the first record I ever bought (a 45 even!). I was in 6th grade and it blew my little preteen mind, man!

You can buy the shirt here, but be warned, you might have to wait a couple of months for delivery. Worth the wait? Oh my yes!

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