Archive for the 'Libraryman' Category


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.


Logo Evolution

Libraryman Logo Evolution So Far

Some really fun things have been happening behind the scenes lately with the whole idea of “Libraryman” having a logo. Actually, its a bit of a beta test for some ideas I’m working on for library advocacy and marketing. Working with the Libraryman persona and going along with the theory that play and “me” (and that is me in a good, not selfish way) is often the best way to approach learning something new, today you get a happy little picture that traces the evolution of the Libraryman logo. Fun! Well, for me anyway.

There will be a post/story about how the latest Libraryman logos just happened to show up in my email one day last month. Sam Morrison is the person I have to thank for that, and he’ll get another plug in a longer upcoming post about branding, marketing and electronic community turned into something substantive.

Libraryman Logo Evolution So Far

btw, if anybody gets an itch to draw another logo, well, it would make my day. In fact, along those lines, just yesterday, my coworker Laura sent me this picture of her son Carter in his Libraryboy costume. What?! A sidekick! Oh, man! Just think of the books we’ll read and the Summer Reading Program outreach we could accomplish! :) Thank you Carter, you rock!

Library Boy Rules!

Suddenly, Michael realized he has now been writing the Libraryman blog for four years.

Most of the folks that read this are my colleagues and I am truly honored that you take the time. Over the years, things have evolved, but my intent in writing this blog has always been to share, inspire, proved occasional food for thought, update my friends and family on my professional comings and goings and, on occasion, to talk about PEZ. ;) But you, my dear colleagues are the biggest reason I keep at it. You are inspiring to me every day with the smart, hard work you do to make real lives and real communities better though your work in Libraryland! I love you, (wo)man! :)

Along those lines, while it isn’t time to tell the story here yet, a remarkably lovely gift arrived for me just two days ago which coincidentally serves to mark the Libraryman Blog four year anniversary very happily. What makes it so perfect is that the logo came from an unusually inspiring electronic community connection that the work here often touts! Check it out:

Libraryman Logo from Sammo371

See! It really is true that substantial, good, entertaining, fun, practical stuff comes from our efforts, often in the happiest and most unexpected ways. So thanks so much for the logo Sam, and again, thank you for reading the Libraryman Blog for all these years everyone!


It’s An Honor And A Responsibility

Woo hoo and Holy Cow! I had hoped to hit 400 Bloglines subscribers at some point during 2007 and it just happened this morning. I know there are plenty of folks that sub and don’t always read, but still, having such a group of people subscribed to this RSS feed makes me feel very responsible for providing content worth the subs. If you are one of these folks, thank you very much!

An Honor and A Responsibility.  Thank you guys!

PS-Feedburner has about 100 subs for last time I checked. I wonder about other library bloggers out there. Do you ever pay attention to this info? Do you ever post it?

Seriously, this blog post includes six or seven individual things (some fairly unusual) that I really wanted to post over the last two weeks. Strap yourselves in! (or hit your back button I suppose). Here goes:

One big cheer for reliable web hosting. Yeee Haaa!

Thanks very much to the folks at the Santiago Library System and MCLS for hosting the impressive “Generation Tech” day at the Nixon Memorial Library. Just because I know my mom is going to read this, here’s a very generous quote from the conference blog:
“The heart of the Generation Tech conference was the animated presentation by Michael Porter… . Vital decisions are being made today, he stressed, ones that will impact the patrons of the future. Porter acknowledged that “technology is not always the right answer” to every problem but that libraries are misguided if they simply let private organizations provide the kind of information services they are used to offering.”.
Rest assured, my mother will scold me for a lack of humility for including the above. :) There are a bunch of pictures here, though this is one of my favorites:
My Best Nixon Impersonation
Thanks also to my flickr/Libraryland friend Sarah Mae, who was kind enough to drive to Yorba Linda and have a meal with me before the “Generation Tech” gig. It was great to meet you in person SMRML! :)

There are also a bunch of shots up from my trip last week to NYC for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Emerging technology Conference. I want to thank all the folks who worked so hard to put this together and also to Nick and his library pals for hanging out over bbq afterwards. Thanks also to my portrait averse though very pleasant and fun flickr friend Norma for spending Sunday afternoon with me. Don’t we both have good taste, Normah? :) I heart NYC, Giant Robot and Pressed Toast.

Shifting gears, if you are going to be looking for an amazing job any time soon, check out Chrystie’s recent post to BlogJunction, where she drops some interesting hints. *ahem*

Now in the home stretch of this ultra-mega blog post, for those who care and didn’t notice it, I took part in the 24 hours of flickr project last week. Quite simply, the goal was to document an entire 24 hour period in pictures. During my 24hrs of flickr I went to bed too late, got up too early, flew from Seattle to NYC via Cincinnati and ended my day in Times Square. It’s a project I’ve wanted to tackle for years and while it was a lot of work on a day when I was pretty wiped, it’s nice to have the document, all of which you can view by going here. It’s pretty PG stuff, but there is a picture of me in the shower. Run away! Run away! ;)

And another thing! On a completely unlibrary related subject, I can’t stop listening to this song. I know, I know, it isn’t high art, but doesn’t it make you want to dance?

Let’s see… what else… Oh! I have a bad cold. *ahoo!*

Finally, I am very happy to drop a big ole’ hint here that it looks like I may have a very happy professional announcement to make here on the libraryman web site within the week. It may be time to break out the champagne and the pencils!

PS-I have listened to the song linked above 1,2,3,4…six times while writing this post. “Perfection!”


Thank You Friends. Forget You, Bad Host!

A huge thank you to the folks who spend their time, thought and energy to read this blog. I try to make it a bit fun, a bit interesting , a bit unique and totally worth your time. I truly appreciate that you come here for content during your busy day. So it makes me concerned, then sad and finally mad when my hosting service messes things up and my site goes down.

After two major server failures and days of misleading, thinly veiled false promises and inaction called action by a company called iPowerWeb, I have moved the hosting of this site to another company. Or rather, I have worked with my kind and generous friend, Kris Bell, to get the site moved over. It wasn’t fun. It took work and a big hunk of time that neither of us had. And we are both disappointed with iPowerWeb. I appreciate the times when they provided reliable uptime. Those days ended however and their customer support, while there, did nothing but poo poo the fact that went down during two critical times for me professionally. Shame on you iPowerWeb!

With that, I make lemonade from the lemons they foisted on me (and you), I thank my amazing friend and colleague Kris Bell for his hard work on short notice, I also really want to thank you, dear Libraryland readers, for sticking around during the outages. Now, I take my sweet, sweet visual revenge:

The Good Dark Side

Misleading Customer Service Kills Your Business

btw, it is 11:25pm. I am still at work because I needed to start working on this the second I was done with my “work work” to avoid more down time. Shame on you, iPowerWeb. You should refund my money and buy me the crappy drive through tacos I have to go get for dinner. Pfffft!


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.*

A happy announcement in the form of a one act play/conversation:

As David Lee King and Michael Porter approach one another, the air crackles with dorky electricity.

David Lee King and Michael Porter at Internet Librarian 2006

Michael: “Hey, have we met?”

David: “Ummm, yeah. Don’t you remember those Internet Librarian Conferences, or when we presented at the Seattle Public Library Staff Day last month? We went out to dinner. Twice.”

Michael: “Ohhhh! Riiiight! That WAS you, wasn’t it? Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. So what do you know, old friend?”

David: “I know you’d better start remembering things, Jack! Oh, also, we have some exciting news to share with LibraryLand.”

Michael: “Is this another one of those self promotion posts that you find on all the time?”

David: “Well, yeah, but this one is better. This one has me in it, too.”

Michael: “That would be better. You are a very handsome man.”

David: “And bright too. As bright as the day is long.”

Michael: “Hmmmm….. Of our many outstanding qualities, humility is our most admirable.”

David: “I’ll say!”

Michael: “So can we get around to the announcement yet?”

David: “I suppose so, though I can fill a blog post with witty schnozz all day long.”

Michael: “”One’s man’s witty is another man’s yawn.” I don’t know what that actually means, but people say that to me all the time.”

David yawns and stretches his neck.
David Lee King Looks Doubtful

Michael: *ahem* “So, the announcement?”

David: “Yes, yes! Well today Michael and I got a letter from Kathleen Hughes, who is the editor of Public Libraries magazine. She said:

“I’m happy to let you know that the Public Libraries Advisory Committee would love to welcome you (David and Michael) aboard as the new Internet Spotlight columnists. Your first column, for the March/April issue would be due on Jan 26. The column can be up to 2000 words.”

Michael: “Wow! That’s cool! We’re going to be the new authors of the Internet Spotlight column in Public Libraries magazine?! Didn’t Steven Cohen write that for years?”

David: “He sure did. And he did an awesome job, too.”

Michael: “So it takes two of us to fill his shoes?”

David: “They told us we had to bring our own shoes, ’cause we couldn’t fill Steven’s.”

Michael: “Well I love shoes, but that is a lot of pressure, man!”

David: “I know! We have the gig, but now we actually have to write good stuff.”

Michael: “Oh that should be easy for us. You are a very hard worker.”

David: “And handsome, don’t forget how handsome I am.”

What you talkin' about David Lee King?Michael: “What you talkin’ about David Lee King?”

David: “Why don’t you tell folks exactly WHAT we’ll write about?”

Michael: “Oh, what WON’T we write about? Now is the most exciting time ever for library professionals, in large part because of “internety” things. So that’s what we’ll write about: practical, cool, thought provoking “internety” things.

David: “Dude, “Internety” isn’t even a word! You don’t really want to start off talking about nonexistent words, do you? What kind of precedent does THAT set?

Michael: “I told you that you were a hard worker! You’re already doing a great job of editing and we haven’t even written a word yet!”

David: “You’re right, aren’t you? I really am awesome.”

Michael: “Hear, hear! So anyway, about the Public Libraries Magazine gig, I basically expect this column to mostly write itself.”

David: “I heard the internet can do that now.”

Michael: “Well then that’s what our first column should be about!”

David: “That’s not funny. This is serious business!”

Michael: “It really is though, isn’t it? We’ll be able to share practical technologies and highlight internet tools librarians can really use in their everyday work!”

David: “Well I don’t know about everybody else, but you’ve got ME ready to use the internet!”

Michael: “Me too!”

David: “What?”

Michael: “Exactly.”

David: “I am so going to edit what you write.”

Michael: “Whew! Thanks goodness. I’m looking forward to it.”

David: “Me too.”

Michael: “So when will the first column show up?”

David: “In the March/April issue!”

Michael: “Will our pieces be in the May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec issues too?”

David: “Yeah buddy!

Michael: “Sweet!”

David: “Totally sweet!”

Michael: “David, you have to promise me our articles will sound more professional than this conversation.”

David: “Well of course! Thankfully nobody can hear this conversation so I think we’re okay.”

Michael: *clicks off tape recorder in pocket*

Thanks to librarianne/Marie K for the use of her DK and MP image used at the beginning of the article.

Thanks also to thelibrarianinblack for the use of her photo of Michael at CLA.

Thanks also to the man himself, David Lee King.

And also to Steven Cohen for setting such a quality precendent with his Public Libraries Magazine Internet Spotlight articles.

Finally, thanks to Kathleen Hughes at ALA for her excellent editorial and author selection skills. ;) We’ll work hard to do you proud.

Kankakee and MP PC (podcast)

We sure had fun talking, but will it be fun to listen to? Thanks to Allison and Steve at the Kankakee Public Library for working up this (not so) little ?BiblioTech? podcast. This is a very relaxed and hopefully somewhat inspiring library technology conversation. Even if the podcast thing isn?t your style, be sure to check out the KPL web site. It rocks the bells and they are the bees knees, baby. It truly was an honor to talk with them about LibraryMan, ?2.0″, ?getting things done?, and library tech stuff in general.

The KPL Podcast Page Is Here?


New Job News!

I am excited to let everyone know that I will be starting a new job next month. A very cool new job! And get this: it?s a job in one of my favorite library related organizations, working on projects that are near and dear to my experience and professional interests! It is a job with even more potential to positively impact our libraries and communities with practical technology AND, to nicely top it off, I?ll be moving back to my favorite U.S. city! So, without further ado:

I am very happy and excited to report that I will be moving on from my Training and Support Coordinator duties here at OCLC Western in Ontario so that I can transfer to the position of Community Associate at WebJunction in Seattle.

I?ve been a fan of for years (before it?s inception even, when I worked at the Gates Foundation) and am honored to have this chance to help work with their amazing team. The potential here is just staggering and the opportunity to be a part of their forward motion is a huge honor (and responsibility). I can?t wait to get started!

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of my coworkers here at OCLC Western (and OCLC at large). My time here at Western has been invaluable and I truly appreciate the opportunities this position has presented. Additionally, many, many individual staff members have been remarkably generous, helpful, patient and good natured as we have worked together over the last two years. I?d like to thank each of you for being so welcoming and inspiring.

I?d also like to thank the member libraries and librarians who have made it possible for me to pursue the tools and ideas that have such potential to fuel our vitality and growth. If the librarians didn?t encourage the work, it just wouldn?t be there. Libraries and librarians inspire me every day and this new job at WebJunction is simply and naturally an extension of that point of view.

Friday, December 15 will be my final day at OCLC Western and Monday, December 18 will be my first day of work at WebJunction (whew!). I look forward to working with many of you as we all help WebJunction grow and evolve into an even more useful and practical resource and community center.

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