April 23, 2018

JP Porcaro | Movers & Shakers 2012 — Community Builders

He’s Got Game

JP Porcaro Movers & Shakers 2012


Head of Acquisitions

Guarini Library, New Jersey City University, Jersey City

MLIS, Rutgers School of Communications and Information,New Brunswick, NJ, 2006

8-Bit Library

The American Library Association Think Tank on Facebook

Photo ©Sean McGinty Photography LLC

“I would like to see a librarian on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine,” says JP Porcaro. “I want to see a librarian on Jersey Shore, in Kanye West’s entourage, and on the coaching staff of the New York Jets. I want to see the first librarian elected President of the United States. Don’t forget, Casanova was a librarian.”

No one can accuse Porcaro of not aiming high, thinking big, or having fun. The head of acquisitions at New Jersey City University’s Guarini Library and a 2010 American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leader, he’s a main force behind two ALA initiatives: the newly created ALA Games and Gaming Round Table (GameRT), a forum for librarians to discuss building, maintaining, and supporting library game collections, and the ALA Think Tank, which began two years ago as a week-long brainstorm among 13 librarians who rented out an entire building at the 2010 ALA annual conference—“half librarianship, half MTV Real World,” Porcaro describes—and today claims to be Facebook’s largest active group for info-sharing among librarians, with more than 600 members.

The cofounder of 8-Bit Library (with Justin Hoenke) and a social media maven with more than 1100 Twitter followers @makeithappenday, Porcaro has a “gutsy, irreverent ability to speak truth to power in the library world and to provoke critical thinking about what it means to be a librarian in the 21st century,” says Jennifer Wann Walker, development services bureau director at the Mississippi Library Commission, who collaborated with Porcaro on a 2010 ALA Emerging Leaders project. “His exhortations to #makeithappen and #partyhard have been known to aggravate, even inflame, some of our colleagues, but his vibrant humor and levity offer an invigorating approach to library service.”

Invigorating—and entertaining. “I’m now the ‘party king’ of librarianship, our own Andrew WK, and run some of the biggest library parties, such as ALA Dance Party and the [Association of College and Research Libraries] Social,” he says. “That’s what we do as librarians: we are social organizers in our communities. We connect people to other people as well as to information. I’m living out the words of the good Dr. Seuss—‘If you never have, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.’ ”



  1. This guy looks awesome!!!! ahhhhhh!!!

  2. Royce Kitts says:

    I question his ability to properly comprehend dubstep.

  3. Interesting move there, Library Journal editors. Don’t like criticism?

    • Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too. Doesn’t this sort of go against librarian ethics?

  4. Huh. I could’ve sworn there were 7 comments here earlier, expressing valid opinions and sharing personal experiences related to this M&S. They appear to be missing, now. Unfortunate, as open and transparent discussions are not only a big part of not only the future of librarianship but also a big part of the kind of future of librarianship that JP campaigns for. I’m pretty sure that connecting people to information doesn’t mean “connecting people to information we are comfortable sharing or making public”.

  5. Tibelius Ramshaw says:

    Ron Paul 2012!

  6. Kathleen Quinlan Kathleen Quinlan says:

    Media Source, Inc. Comment policy:

    Media Source, Inc. promotes a receptive, transparent and civil atmosphere for comments from our readers on all of our websites, as well as in all webcasts and virtual events. Critical, in-depth and intelligent discussions and debates are encouraged, and everyone is welcome to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with other community members, the author of the post or staff members as long as those opinions are respectful and constructively add to the conversation.

    However, we do not tolerate blatantly commercial messages, direct or indirect attacks, name-calling or insults, nor do we tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional response. These types of comments will be removed whenever deemed appropriate by staff. Individuals who consistently or intentionally post these types of comments will be warned and, if necessary, blocked from further contributions.

    All comments must comply with the Terms and Conditions of this site and by submitting comments you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

  7. Tibelius Ramshaw says:

    I notice that the Annoyed Librarian breaks – with every piece – the comments policy…

  8. Royce Kitts says:

    Not sure that calling out his knowledge of dubstep is that insulting.

  9. Censored says:

    LOL. LJ deleted all the comments critical of the selection, but left the dubstep comment. #censorship

  10. @Tibelius: This is the comments policy, not the blogger policy. Although given some of the comments that appear on the AL blogs, that section might need more policing.

  11. I love wicked burns!! says:

    If you enable comments, things are going to said. When it’s wicked burns, you can’t be shocked or upset. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

    • I love wicked burns!! says:

      I totally messed up. The end of the first sentence should be “things are going to be said.” This is so embarrassing!

    • Wicked Burn Appreciation Society says:

      Smooth move, Exlax!

  12. I love wicked burns!! says:

    Where is the gauze because that was a wicked burn. NICE.

  13. Danny Klein says:

    Forgive the proofreader in me, but under Vitals and Current Position, shouldn’t it read “Head of Acquisitions Guarini Library, New Jersey City University Library, Jersey City”?

  14. Way to go, JP! Lots of respect for speaking your mind and living boldly :)

  15. Congrats JP. Well done. Your enthusiasm and spirit is refreshing and much needed in the library world.

  16. Mary Fran says:

    How dare you drag Dr. Seuss into this! Partying librarians are the new star-bellied sneetches. We all know how that ends. Besides, if we loosen up and smile more, people might stop their hating, come into libraries to enjoy themselves, and then we will have to shut them up! Think of all of that extra work that could save our sorry jobs. What would there be left to whine about? Seriously, squids will be squids, JP, but there is no one you-er than you. Even if it’s all hype, we need the goddamned hype. Thanks!

  17. Jefferson Wilderbeaste says:

    We’ve removed this comment because it violates the LJ Terms of Use and Comment Policy.

  18. this is the most out of control comment thread in the history of movers and shakers.

  19. Need Cocaine says:

    Any other librarians in Detroit noticed the sharp price increase for our “vitals” lately? Do you know where we can score clean powder from, without having to motor over to Royal Oak or some other godforsaken suburb? Lookin for a new supplier, midtown area. Thanks.

  20. Detroit Librarian says:

    No, you fiend. With Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy and all the other fine establishments in town, stay thy hand and rolled up $20 bill; you need not ride the white pony. Please clean yourself up and get with the program, good sir or madame. If you really knew Detroit librarians, you would know hanging out with them is so serotonin inducing, illicit drugs are neither needed nor considered.

  21. JP Porcaro has serious problems says:

    Seriously though, while I am not going to post anything inflammatory about JP Porcaro (whose real name is JAMES PATRICE, by the way), I completely disagree with the removal of those comments posted by Anna, Jenica, and Lauren. If we can’t all be adults about this, then why are we even here? Regardless, after seeing all of this injustice by LJ, I have uploaded FOOTAGE of exactly what those three commenters were talking about when they made those comments about JP Porcaro. Hopefully, in the future, these kinds of things will be more prevalent when LJ decides to make these types of choices.


  22. I am currently counting 5 comments which are inappropriate and directly violate the ToS. This is some selective censorship.