Archive for the 'libraries' Category

I’ve been building up to writing a few posts in a series for the past six months or so about participation in the Library Profession, making professional choices, getting a reputation, hard work, hope, despair and motivation. I know it seems like a tangle of themes, but they fit together, honest. It’s part confessional, part update, part desire to return value via this blog and part, well, me trying to say and show a version of “I love you, man!!!” to my profession and fellow professionals while not sounding like a goof or a beer commercial…and showing real ways YOU can make a difference…a very powerful and real difference…even when you seem or feel “stuck” or not particularly hopeful for your career or our most honorable profession. So whether you are stuck, or excelling, or under appreciated or just plain pis*** off about the state of libraries or your career, I’m hoping this may be of some use. I’ll give you some updates, show some progress and even point towards some things you might participate in or model for your own projects. Projects that are starting to do things you are likely desperate to address or can use to inspire and manifest your own ideas, plans and dreams.

I’ll talk more frankly here than usual and will try not to edit myself too much. This first post (it’s a series I’ll complete in the next two weeks), I realize may be pretty close to navel gazing in some respects, but its designed to share things I’ve learned from the evolution of my experience with and being know as “Libraryman” that may be useful for others to hear. It’s stuff I’ve wanted to share here for a long while at any rate.
moo card for consulting 1
To folks who have joined me here at libraryman.com for years, you have of course noticed it has become a much less regularly updated resource. Still hopefully periodically interesting and useful, but you heavy blog readers can tell I haven’t been scrambling to make and/or keep it as one of the top library blogs. It’s been interesting stepping back a bit (just from this part, but more on that later). Along the way several people have quietly approached me about this stepping back from blogging. Some were either worried about me or, for the more ambitious amongst them, simply wondering how the heck I could let something that had readership, had clearly returned huge benefits to my career seemingly “slip”? **It’s worth noting that for any library blogger the real value of our work and the part that is most important comes when we hopefully return value to this profession and to our fellow librarians and library staff as we work our blogs. Having that attitude and focus is also the best way to create a successful professional blog imo** So how could I do step back and what might it mean for you, whether you are currently a “popular” blogger, are hungry to engage with ideas and the profession via blogging or simply wanting to contribute and perhaps thinking that blogging is one of the only opportunities and glimmers of hope that you have seen pay off for people in our profession?

Over the past few years, especially in our active and highly intelligent and thoughtful profession, many of the reasons to blog, and the landscape surrounding blogs, have/has changed. Blogging clearly holds value and is a worthwhile and important activity for many. At the same time, for some of the more ambitious among us it is worth noting that it’s often harder now to boost your career in a deeply significant way via blogging. It is useful to do it and to know how to do it but it has become more for personal edification, professional communication that serves you and your “posse” as it were, and gives you a chance to think on and talk on things, while hopefully contributing something of use to the profession.

To some of the especially ambitious and strategic (nothing wrong with that and something I wish we saw more of in Libraryland, particularity from those fresh to the profession) there is something additional to frankly speak on as well. Fact is, getting “library famous” now is harder to do via blogging. There are more social tools to fold into your “persona” and maintain and, well, blogging is just less novel now. Honestly, in the early days I think many folks got a significant boost from simply know how to make a blog. They started early and got know for that (not to disrespect them of their work of course, but that boost just isn’t there for folks starting our now). Frankly, I’ve often wondered how much of that has factored into the traction I had with the Libraryman Blog. Its just that blogging has matured and expectations I believe are often higher. And few have or make the time and commitment and focus to pursue one of the the most ambitious potential career goals, that often elusive “library famous”. In some ways I actaully see this as encouraging, because frankly, “library famous” is a little ridiculous in many ways, often accurately and snickerifically being equated by many with being famous in a small town (aka who gives a ****).

And this of course fits into the narrative of this series of posts. First, they aren’t about blogging or the biblioblogosphere. And this is clearly not a “Oh man, I know I need to blog more” post. I don’t need to do that. Rather this is a series of posts about WHY I I don’t. And what I’ve done with the time I would have spent blogging. And how what I’ve been working on during those times. And how some of that can hopefully help inspire others to feel encouraged and hopefully and more willing to do *their* own thing.

In the next couple posts I’ll show you some of the things I’ve been working on since I’ve been blogging less. You’ll see why it was the right thing to do. And along the way you’ll have some opportunities laid at your feet to join in, to affect the change you are hungry to see, to work around any limitation you have because you may not be high ranking or “well known” or able to move, or whatever. I’ve seen some things, people, and I want to share them with you. So stay tuned.

School Library Journal Illustration

Libraryman

Irreverent Library Badge Ribbons

Irreverent WLA Ribbons
Attendees at WLA/PNLA last week were treated to a variety of unusual ribbons at the registration desk including: “My Ribbon Is Better Than Than Yours”, “Know It All”, “Politically Correct”, “I READ YOUR EMAIL”, “OCD”, “Been There, Done That” and “Worker Bee” among others. Too funny!

Libraryman

Sunday’s CiL PreConference Session

For the “Videocasting Boot Camp” preconference session David Lee King and I are doing Sunday. I think you can still come if you’ll be in D.C.
Intro Slide: Videocasting Preconference

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 Is All About Change

“We now have new basics in Libraryland, a new “Library 101″, if you will. And embracing a new Library 101 means change is in store. My challenge to all of you is to be that change. Yes, it means some things will be different. Yes, your jobs will adjust. And YES, libraries can be more relevant, secure, useful and practical societal anchors, anchors that do more good and provide more value to society than many of us ever imagined possible. But, that is dependent on all the fine library staff members around the world embracing and shaping the change that a new “Library 101″ can bring. Please join me in the call that is “Library 101″ and do your part to secure a bright, thriving future for libraries. Go and be Library 101! Thank you Libraryland! ”
Library 101 Is All About Change

This post showed up on my facebook page, and I wondered if seeing the debate might be useful, interesting, thought provoking, and hopefully not boring. :) Check it out. What do you think?:
Library 101 facebook comments

Libraryman

Killing Our Libraries

A motivational poster of sorts. Large size is the only way to really see it.
killing our libraries - mini-poster 2009

Libraryman

ACRL In Seattle

As always, good sessions, good friends, big brains and a fine time all around. Highlight from my perspective, as is usual at a Libraryland conference, were all about the people. The Tweetup was a cool addition which many enjoyed, and, again, conversations, particularly over meals, were wonderful and constructive. Libraryland rocks! Here are some photos for ya’:
One diner party group:
ACRL Walk

A amazing librarian and person, Shawn Calhoun:
ACRL2009 MP and Shawn Calhoun

See, told you we had fun!:
ACRL2009 Was Fun

Libraryman

We Are High Fidelity Libraries

A brief video snippet (with added graphics) that describes why the “hi-fi” in “hi-fi sci-fi library” is key to our present and future success.

Fighting the forces of evil and oppression with your high fidelity library/librarians!

    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

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