Archive for the 'Library' Category

The Seattle Public Library system to close Aug. 31 through Sept. 7
The Seattle Public Library system will close Monday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 6 due to citywide budget cuts. Please note Monday, Sept. 7 is the Labor Day holiday and all libraries will be closed. Regular Library operations will resume Tuesday, Sept. 8
. press release here

While I don’t know all the deepest details here, I usually advocate for very thoughtful, strong, quick, dramatic action when forced into situations like this. And I believe that closing the web site is a great idea! That might not be a very popular stance to take, but it does makes good sense if handled properly.

There is no getting around that fact that the reality of these situations makes us feel a bit queasy, but this really is a rare and (hopefully) unique teaching opportunity. As budgets get trimmed all over the world, libraries are chipped at bit by bit. It has almost become a sad tradition of sorts for many library systems. And in these systems we work ourselves silly with fewer resources and less money while trying to not show how thinly stretched we are. We keep doing more with less until…one day we wake up to find that we don’t have things like effective methods of distributing the most popular electronic content available on the web through the library(see Netflix, Amazon and iTunes) or that we aren’t the platform considered most seriously as new display technologies become closer to ubiquitous (see iPhone and Kindle). And we can afford smaller budgets? Well, ok, but there is a cost…and we shouldn’t try to hide that cost from the communities we serve.

So when the SPL site is down I’d advise them to have their page go black expect for a one sentence (linked to the press release) “The SPL and all its branches are closed from **-** due to budget cuts.” Under that sentence I’d have a link that says something like: “When a library is open it returns $$$ value for every $ spent. Click here to read the facts.” and link to solid/scientific examples and proof of the value/ROI of the library being open.

I know its is easy for me to say this since I don’t work for SPL, but I think this is the right way to go. If you get cut, make sure people can see how it hurts them. WE don’t do ourselves any favors by glossing things over and if people clearly understood the costs they might just prevent things like this from happening to libraries in the first place.

But what do you think?

PS-Some library ROI links for ya’. And another doozy!

Libraryman

2009 Mover & Shaker

It is with a deep sense of gratitude, humility and motivation that I can now happily share some big news with you! Because of many of your very kind nominations, I have been selected as one of the 2009 Library Journal “Movers & Shakers“!

Given the things I get to work on and present about in Libraryland I suppose it fits best that I got plopped in the “Trendspotters” category. And I have to say that being there with folks like Sarah Houghton-Jan and Jason Griffey & Karen Coombs makes me just say “Wow! Cool!”.

Additionally, there are hundreds of other folks who have received this recognition over the years that I personally owe a great deal to. Too many to mention, really as it would be a huge list of hyperlinked names filling the page. Suffice it to say that David, Michael(s), Jenny, Helene, Chrystie, Rachel, Aaron, John, Stephen…oh, just check out the full list already! It is full of people who are motivating, inspiring, amazingly hard working and just plain good people. And if you want them to help you out too I’ll bet they will!

Since 2009 is my M&S “class” I wanted to give a shout to these folks on the list, people that I know especially well, have ben able to work with and am just pleased as punch to see on this year’s short, short list of folks selected: Jenica Rogers-Urbanek, Lori Reed, Lauren Pressley, Brian Bannon and Eric, Jaap and Geert. You guys (and more) all knock my socks off.

Now, I know very, very clearly that for every person that receives this honor there are hundreds of equally (or even more) worthy library professionals out there. I have written in the past that I believe this award is a good thing and does actually mean something. In that same piece I commented that I firmly believe our industry needs to do more to recognize the people that this award does not. So to the folks not on the list yet, the folks that might not know the amazing and powerful importance of their work and the folks that don’t get fancy recognition as they slog it out every day in their library, please know that YOU are are the people that really make it happen and you and the impact of your work are why I try to do as much as I can in Libraryland. I feel the most kinship with these professionals and want to do whatever I can to help them (us, really), especially during these crazy times. So whether you are an LJ Mover & Shaker or not, if you are trying to get good things done for your community though your work in a library and can think of any way I can help or encourage you, please drop me a line and I will do what I can. You know, if you need an industry recognized consultant with credentials to support a programming proposal, budget item, grant or innovative library, learning or technology project, I’m your man. Ping me and I will do whatever I can to help you!

Regardless of attention or accolades, we are all so fortunate to work together in an industry that does so much good for so many people and is filled with the caliber of intellect and professional commitment that we see around us in Libraryland each day. It is one of my greatest privileges to work with you all and I promise to try and use this (and any other) small bit of recognition that might come my way to try and get as much good work done as I can for our profession and the people we serve.

Finally, thanks to all the folks who sent nominations, congratulatory notes or even just sat through a blog post, a conference of staff day presentation, column or whatever I’ve done that might have touched your professional life over the last few years. Also, to Mary, Becky and Steve at the ACPL and Mary K at Indiana University thank you so very, very much! Before I was really rolling along professionally each of you got me up and running in Libraryland at vulnerable times when I really could have fallen over flat. Thanks also to my Grandma, who would likely be both pleased as punch at this moment and would also be telling me to pipe down and be more humble. I miss you Grandma, and you are right, I’ll stop now. :)

I'm a Library Journal 2009 "Mover & Shaker"! Thank you, thank you!! *this picture is supposed to tell a story, but it just looks like four pics of me being a ham. Sorry about that. Still, if you click it you’ll get linked to the flickr page with the story*

PS- I can just see it now on the blogs/twitter/etc “What, did this joker think he won an Emmy or something?! Sheesh!” lol! :)

CPLA Intro Slide 2009

Just wanted to tell folks that I am going to be leading a two-day “Management of Technology” PLA/CPLA workshop for the first time next week. While this is a recurring workshop, it is my first time leading it. And I am excited! But what is the class all about and why is it exciting? Well…
“The basic content of the workshops is of equal interest to librarians pursuing certification and librarians desiring to enhance their professional skills in more informal way. The workshops have been designed to be practical rather than theoretical and include interactive exercises and group work. Librarians pursuing CPLA certification will be required to take a post-test and will be asked to do outside readings or complete a project.”
*link to PLA/CPLA courses page*

The course description page says:
“At the end of the program, participants will have developed a basic understanding of the concepts of computer and communications technologies; will be able to link current services to the inventory of technologies; make decisions about sustaining, expanding or phasing out current technologies; identify and evaluate new technologies for implementation; identify the costs, needed skills, and time lines for new and expanded projects; and create an environment of on-going technological assessment and implementation.”

And believe it or not, we will do all of this in two days. And we’ll have a pretty good time doing it. Seriously!

I haven’t publicized this upcoming workshop too much since it is my first time teaching it and I’ve been doing a lot prep work. Yet the class is near capacity, and there are library managers from all over the country (even the Bahamas?!) registered. So, why not really let the cat out of the bag, eh?

And just so you know, if the content sounds useful to your library or region, you can co-sponsor and host the same (or other CPLA) workshops at your library. Details can be found following the above links. For now, it is looking like November in Washington state is your next chance to take this specific workshop (though there are plenty of different CPLA workshops). Unless of course you are up for a very last minute trip to Phoenix very early next Monday morning. ;)

Library Symbols - Multicolor

*edited from image on this page: www.libraryclipart.com/alasymbolspage1.html

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!

Libraryman

LITA2008 Video Summary

Just saw this quick, 3 minute summary of LITA2008 pop up on their blog, complete with my ugly mug. Enjoy! :)
American Libraries Focus Video: LITA2008
AL LITA2008 video/post is here.

And…you know, you can always hear the “hi-fi sci-fi library” song and watch its video here. :)

Thanks again to all who attended LITA and were so generous with their support and time. Hope you enjoyed the session! An Internet Librarian (IL2008) post is coming soon.

Libraryman

LJ Mover & Shaker Nominations Are Open

Today over on friendfeed, Greg Schwartz (of Uncontrolled Vocabulary fame), posted this:
Oh boy, it’s LJ Movers and Shakers nomination season again. Where does the time go?”
And within seven hours there were almost 50 comments. Some are typically irreverent and fun, but others are more pointed. So what is this award really about?

Well, the Library Journal Mover & Shaker Award recognizes “emerging leaders in the library world.” This is the eighth year for the award (and special print supplement to the regular magazine). Each year LJ “profile(s) 50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field”.

In my conversations and observations, the general consensus out there in Libraryland is that this is a very good thing to have happen each year and that it is a valuable “thing” to receive. There are some exceptions to this more general opinion though which are interesting to note.

In Greg’s friendfeed discussion thread on the subject some folks put forth the idea that this whole “Mover & Shaker” business is mostly just a marketing tool. I wouldn’t disagree, but it isn’t just a marketing for LJ in my opinion. I think Libraryland should honor their own more than they do. This recognition tool is for a specific segment of our profession. And I think it is important. I would also say that I think we need a couple other awards of this size that embrace the folks that don’t fit into the category of this award. Wouldn’t be a total blast to work on coming up with those award criteria?

But *this* is the award that the largest number of my closest Libraryland colleagues are involved with. And I have personally seen the positive impact receiving it has had on several careers. So the award get my vote of support. And I don’t say this lightly either. I have had lengthy conversations with more than one very high profile winner of this award that really thought it was mostly bunk. I respect their opinion on this, but also know that they have the luxury of not really caring about this. Besides, I believe that even if they didn’t care about getting it, that the award provided more attention to their work. And their work is just magnificent in my opinion. So, I still say this is a valuable event/award/honor to hold.

A couple folks observed that there have been cases where people became more isolated in their library after receiving this award. I’ve heard that too, and know it a real concern for some. From my observations this is a more rare exception. An exception that is amazingly frustrating and intolerable, but an important thing to note.

So I’m here to encourage you to vote for the next round of LJ Movers & Shakers.

I can think of several folks just right off the top of my head that would be fine Libraryland reps for this award. I know there really are hundreds of others. In fact, I’d LOVE for you to list other names in the comments! Here are a few I wold love to see get this award:

Jason Griffey
Cindi Trainor
Greg Schwartz
Bobbi Newman
Josh Neff

And, I have to confess that I posted this to the discussion we had today about the award:
“So is there a way to try to get nominated without coming across like an egocentric jerk? *ahem*” So, no, I haven’t ever been selected as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker award winner.

So who do you think should be on the list this year??

    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

Last week, during an amazing trip to Kansas to speak at the NEKLS Tech Day 2008 (more about that in another post), David and I took a day to record a song that we had been working on together for a couple of months via phone, email and the interweb tubes. We started pretty early and had a happy, long day of fun, creativity, meeting family and, well, making music about the most exciting things out there when it comes to library futures.
The song is called “hi-fi sci-fi library”, and is intended for use around the time I do my keynote session at the 2008 LITA National Forum in October, but I doubt we’ll be able to resist sharing it for that long. We even shot some nice HD video to turn into a music video. lol! It was really fun work and my deepest appreciation to David and his family for their kind welcome. I think we might all still have the chorus knocking around in our heads three days later. Oh, and speaking of the chorus, the song is actually pretty good! It is catchy, fun, quick, (hopefully) inspiring and the lyrics are tight! David and I will both blog about it when we get the mix and the finishing touches completed. In the meantime, here area couple shots of us in the studio:
Me Singing Small

we r recording our song

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Now playing: David Lee King and Michel Porter – hi-fi sci-fi library

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