A blog post, an event page and a press release. Thanks Palo Alto! Or more accurately: Excellent advocacy work, Palo Alto! Sure, it’s my ugly mug up there, but the fact of the matter is they are bringing someone from outside into their community to help. Carefully selected bits of specialized knowledge and experience can be used to help inform decisions, facilitate brainstorming and can lend a hand to libraries trying to be transparent to the community they serve. Working hard to decide how to best implement what users/patrons really want is more important now than ever before and bringing in appropriate amounts and types of outside thought can significantly assists libraries in making important decisions about the technological directions they take.
So this is exceptionally commendable of Palo Alto (and really has almost nothing to do with me individually). Having said that, perhaps I should have highlighted someone else’s public library tech presentation to make this point? While not entirely common, there are other examples, and each make me equally happy and hopeful for that community and their library.
As far as Palo Alto goes, I really do hope lots of folks show up. It’ll be a great chance to cover some important issues, issue a challenge or two and get some back-and-forth going on things that are driving libraries (and society at large).
As further example, here is the text from the press release for the event:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE #10/25/07
Library Technology Expert Michael Porter to Speak at Palo Alto City Hall
Mary Minto, Division Manager, Library (650) 329-2517
Palo Alto, CA – Library technologist, Michael Porter, trainer and author, will share his expertise November 8 from 7–9 p.m. on how public libraries use new digital tools to build communities. His presentation, “Your Library’s Future Has Changed: Technology, Content and Community,” will include a look at the web sites of innovative libraries that are using social networking tools and creative implementation to provide access to information and create connections in their communities.
Michael Porter is Community Associate for WebJunction, an organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assist libraries and cultural organizations in meeting their objectives through the effective use of web-based technologies. His professional focus is on technology, community, and training. He co-authors the “Internet Spotlight” column in Public Libraries magazine and is writing a book about effective electronic communities.
The talk will be hosted by the Palo Alto City Library, which is gearing up to develop a library technology plan by early 2008. This free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.
· Date and Time: Thursday, November 8, 2007, 7–9 p.m.
· Place: Council Chambers, City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto
Visit the Library web site at www.cityofpaloalto.org/library for more information.”
Very nice! I look forward to seeing everyone in Palo Alto (and Sunnyvale and Santa Clara Co. too) later this week!