Archive for the 'writing' Category

From “my” Public Libraries Magazine editor (actually DLK and I write this together so “our” editor is a better way to say it)”, comes this for your consideration:

“the January/February issue is a *theme* issue so the feature articles will all focus on one topic. This time the topic will be Services to Teens. So, if at all possible, please try to tailor your columns to that subject for the Jan/Feb 2008 issue.”

But I’m not a YA librarian. Neither is DLK. So, we need help from the experts. We write “The Internet Spotlight” column, and are interested in getting feedback from real life librarians out there dealing with Teen/YA Services in their everyday work. If you are one of those folks and would like to be included as a quote/contributor to this issues column do this:

Reply in the comments *or* send me an email explaining what your “Internet Spotlight” is in relation to YA/Teen Services. This could also be what your YA patrons see as their “Internet Spotlight” or it could be anything related to YA’s or YA services and the internet. You know, a web site and online activity, whatever you observe as a spotlight subject. It’s really open ended and can be factual or opinionated (both are useful). A paragraph is a nice length, but more or less works well too.

So, tell me, what is your YA/Teen Services “Internet Spotlight”???


PS-This is due to our editor in 10 days.


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.


It Is Decided

More blogging. Here and on the other one too. What other one? Why
BlogJunction of course, the blog I now help author with a few of my new coworkers at WebJunction. In fact there are a couple of posts up there now that I just added. Want to know about the move or what it’s like to work with Dale, Betha, Chrystie, George, Liz, Mike and the rest of the WJ gang? What about how it’s been not having an Internet connection at home for three weeks? Three weeks?! That’s just crazy! What an exciting article THAT must be!! You know you must read all about it immediately:

Thanks for Letting Me Join You WebJunction! (Part I)

What I?ve Learned From Not Having the Internet at Home for Three Weeks. (aka Part II)

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.