Category Archives: CAVAL Research Project

CAVAL Research, ASLA & QPLA Trip 2009

View CAVAL Research, ASLA & QPLA Trip 2009 in a larger map

I can’t believe we leave for Australia in less than a month! The research project is shaping up nicely as we comb through all the data and start analysis. Here’s a bit of what I’ll be doing:

October 2, 2009: Australian School Library Association Biennial Conference, Dr Laurel Anne Clyde Memorial Keynote Address: Engage, explore, celebrate: The Hyperlinked School Library,” Perth, Western Australia

October 11, 2009: Keynote, Queensland Public Library Association Conference, Townsville, Queensland.

October 11, 2009: Panel Discussion: “Challenges and Opportunities in Using Technology in Public Libraries” with Warren Cheetham, Coordinator, Information and Digital Services, Townsville City Libraries, David West, Senior Manager, Moreton Bay Region Libraries, and Paul Hagan, Senior Web Developer, Web Publishing Branch NLA, Queensland Public Library Association Conference, Townsville, Queensland.

We’ll be spending over a week in Melbourne working on the research project and running focus groups, as well as working (and sightseeing!) in Perth, Broome, Townsville and Sydney. This will be the longest I have ever been away from hearth and home – 5+ weeks! If you are attending any of my presentations or participating in the focus groups, please say hello.

Helene Blowers’ Learning 2.0 Survey Results

Learning 2.0: 23 Things Survey FindingsView more presentations from hblowers.Helene writes:

In going through some old posts still in draft, I realized that I had never shared the findings of the Learning 2.0: 23 Things survey that I had conducted last summer specifically with coordinators of other programs. In conducting the survey I had hoped to find out what was the program’s success related to several factors, specifically use of incentives and presence of active management participation. Once the results were compiled, I found the findings interesting. I hope you will agree.

Here is a short slidedeck providing a high level view of the findings. In total 68 program coordinators responded to the call I made last August. The results of 62 of them are included in this report. I did not include the results of six respondents since they had not yet finished their organization’s version of the program at the time of survey, hence their results were incomplete.

For my work with CAVAL, we now have data sets of program administrators and 350+ responses from the national survey looking at the impact of the programs after Learning 2.0. Helene’s data and findings echo  trends we are  seeing in our data analysis.

Stay tuned for more.

Australian Learning 2.0 Surveys Launched


Below is the text of our survey invitation for CAVAL. I wanted to share it here as well. If you are in Australia and would like to take the survey, please see this URL:

I’m excited to see the project moving along. I also can’t believe how soon we’ll be leaving for five weeks Down Under – just three short months. I’m also excited that we’ve already gotten confirmation that we’ll be presenting preliminary results at the 2010 Public Library Association meeting in Portland!

Dear Australian library colleagues,

You may have seen the announcement earlier this year where I was appointed as the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar. My research, “Measuring the Value and Effect of Learning 2.0 Programs in Libraries” will evaluate the impact of Learning 2.0 programs in Australia and the perceived levels of openness, transparency and trust by staff in organizations that have completed the course.

Now it’s time for me to ask for your help!

If you have completed a 23 Things / Learning 2.0 program, I’d like to invite you to participate in an online survey.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact me (email is on front of survey).

If have been the person responsible for developing and/or implementing a 23 Things / Learning 2.0 program for your library (single library service or a consortia program), please email your contact details to Warren Cheetham at CityLibraries Townsville ([email protected]). I have a special survey which Warren will send to you, just for people who have lead a learning 2.0 program.

Thank you for your participation in my research. I am looking forward to my trip to Australia in October!

Best wishes,

Michael Stephens ~

Assistant Professor, Dominican University GSLIS
Tame the Web: Libraries & Technology:

CityLibrariesLearning discover*play*connect Launched

My co-investigator Warren Cheetham has launched his library’s Learning 2.0 program after we ran a pre-course survey of the staff. From his intro post:

Welcome everyone! I hope you are as excited as I am to begin this learning journey together. We have a lot of fun things ahead of us, and I am really looking forward to learning about some new Web 2.0 tools with you.

About CityLibrariesLearning – discover*play*connect

For an overview of our program, please visit the “About” page on this blog. If you have any questions at all, you can leave a comment on the bottom of this page (or any page on the blog), you can chat to one of the learning champions, or ask the person sitting next to you. We’re all learning and playing together and the more we help each other out, the better our experience will be!

This blog will be the place to visit several times each week to find out the latest learning ‘discovery’. Each discovery will take the form of

  • Discover – you will be invited to read some information, watch a video or listen to an audio file to discover a new Web 2.0 tool or online service
  • Play – you are welcome to spend time playing and exploring the discovery. This may involving signing up or registering with an online service (always free), writing some words or sharing some images, poking, prodding and turning the thing upside down to see how it works! For some of the discoveries, this may be as far as you want to go, but for others you may want to…
  • Connect – this means really engaging and using the new discovery. You may find a work or personal use for it. You are encouraged to stretch your use of the tool as far as you can. This is a good opportunity for those people who may already be familiar with a particular tool or service to explore some of the advanced features.

Video Welcome from Helene Blowers:

Well wishes from Michael:

We just booked the tickets for five weeks in Australia in the fall: Melbourne, Perth, Townsville & Sydney! I’ll be working with various institutions – focus groups, etc – to look at the impact of Learning 2.0 programs over time. The national survey will be launched soon.

Find out more about the research program here:

Measuring the Value and Effect of Learning 2.0 Programs in Libraries

Press Release: Stephens Named 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar

Measuring the Value and Effect of Learning 2.0 Programs in Libraries

This is from the proposal. It frames what we’ll be investigating:

“I believe that this has been one of the most transformational and viral activities to happen globally to libraries in decades.”   Stephen Abram., Stephen’s Lighthouse, February 5, 2008

The genesis of Learning 2.0 began with an article by library futurist Stephen Abram. “Helene Blowers of PLCMC took the article “Things You (or I) Might Want To Do This Year” by SirsiDynix’s Stephen Abram and distilled it down to 23 things that she wanted her staff to understand through hands-on experience,” Hastings noted in a 2007 Library Journal article. Blowers recognized “that librarians need to know how to participate in the new media mix if libraries are to remain relevant,” In Wired magazine’s online companion, Hanly (2007) reported the plan was to include all staff in learning. “Blowers challenged her 550 staffers to become more web savvy. Using free web tools, she designed the program and gave staff members three months to do 23 things.” 

Since 2006, libraries around the world have offered variations of the “23 Things” for their staff based on the all-staff inclusive learning program developed at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenberg County. At last count, program creator Helene Blowers, now Director of Digital Strategy at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, reported in School Library Journal “the program had easily reached more than 500 libraries in 15 countries in just two short years” (2008b). Recently, Blowers (2009) estimated close to 1000 libraries and organizations have used the program:

Don’t ask me the number of libraries or organizations? With programs having been run by the National Library of Norway, the State Library of Victoria, Maryland public libraries statewide, 23 Things on a Stick for multiple libraries and organizations, I really have no way of knowing the total impact or number of organizations that have adopted the program. But from my delicious links and growing communications folder I can tell you this… the number is definitively over 700 and more then likely hovers somewhere just under 1000 organizations worldwide. 

Created to introduce staff to the emerging “Web 2.0” tools of the day, the programs have evolved as new tools are introduced and various practitioners report on successful implementations of the course. Some have called the program transformational (Abram, 2008) while others have lauded its ability to bring staff together in a common goal: learning emerging technologies. Lewis (2008) noted “the Learning 2.0 program had a great impact on staff, who now know they are capable of learning new technologies.” Gross and Leslie (2008) reported success with the program in an academic library setting but noted “to our knowledge, no formal evaluation of Learning 2.0 has been conducted.  However, the take-up rate among libraries worldwide has been impressive and stands as an endorsement of the program. The accolades from enthusiastic library staff who  have undertaken Learning 2.0, mainly in the USA, can be found on the  biblioblogosphere.”

Replicated across the globe, the program has been touted as a means to not only educate staff about emerging social technologies but as a method of moving libraries forward into a future of 21st century innovation (Lewis, 2008), openness and transparency (Casey & Stephens, 2008). The purpose of this study is to quantify and evaluate the effectiveness of such programs in Australian libraries, focusing on the public library and academic library setting to develop an exemplary model for more libraries to use for staff education.

Abram, S. (2006). 43 Things I might want to do this year. Information Outlook. Retrieved February 26, 2009 from

Abram, S. (2008). The 23 Things – Learning 2.0. Stephen’s Lighthouse. Retrieved February 28, 2009 from

Blowers, H. (2006). Learning 2.0 Powerpoint presented at Internet Librarian, Monterey, CA.

Blowers, H. (2008a). Learning 2.0: Lessons Learned from “Play” Retrieved from

Blowers, H. (2008b). “Ten tips about 23 things.” School Library Journal. Retrieved February 14, 2009 from

Blowers, H. (2009). WJ hosts 23 Things summit. LibraryBytes. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from

Casey, M. & Stephens, M. (2008) “Cheers and Jeers.” Library Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2008 from

Gross, J. & Leslie, L (2008). “Twenty-three steps to learning Web 2.0 technologies in an academic library.” The Electronic Library, 26:6 p790 – 802 

Hanly, B. (2007) Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks. Retrieved February 12, 2009 from

Hastings, R. (2007). “Journey to Library 2.0.” Library Journal. Retrieved February 15, 2009 from

Lewis, L. (2008). Library 2.0: taking it to the street. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from

Press Release: Stephens Named 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar

I’ve been sitting on this news for sometime as we got everything in order. I’m happy to announce this project and that this fall I’ll be in Asutralia for over a month working on this research. I will also be keynoting the Australian School Library Association conference and the Queensland Public Library Association conference. I really appreciate this opportunity and look forward to working with my colleagues Down Under again. – MS



Melbourne, 30 March 2009 – Internationally recognised US Web 2.0 commentator, writer and library academic, Dr Michael Stephens, has been appointed the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar.

In a world first for CAVAL and its project partners CityLibraries Townsville and Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dr Stephens’ research project will seek to measure the value and effect of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian libraries.

“The intent of this study is to understand the impact on library staff and institutional culture and makeup after a Learning 2.0 program”, Dr Stephens says.

“The critical questions for libraries looking forward are to what extent has Learning 2.0 impacted institutional culture and staff confidence, and to what degree has it improved the ability of library staff to use emerging technologies?”

Dr Stephens notes that “More than 500 libraries in 15 countries have implemented Learning 2.0 programs in 2 years but we know very little about their effectiveness.”

“Nearly 10% of these Learning 2.0 programs are Australian, ranging from large State and University libraries through to public and special libraries and a small school library in New South Wales.”

First developed by the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County under a Creative Commons license in 2006, Learning 2.0 is an online learning program that encourages library staff to explore and learn about emerging Web 2.0 technologies.  Web 2.0, also called the Read/Write Web or Social Computing, enables users of all ages and walks of life to create, change and publish their own Web content.  Blogs and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are common examples.

Working with a co-researcher from CityLibraries Townsville, Dr Stephens’
research aims to develop a world first model for what he terms “an exemplary Learning 2.0 program for Australian libraries.”

For Dr Stephens’ acclaimed Tame the Web blog, visit

For more information about the original Learning 2.0 program, visit


CAVAL is an Australian not-for-profit company established in 1978 to support leading libraries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  CAVAL is owned jointly by 11 Australian universities and provides a range of specialised services to the library sector including storage and digital preservation, training and consulting.

Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1930 and has grown to become one of the United States’ largest Masters of Library and Information Science degree-granting programs.  More than 600 students attend classes in River Forest and the Greater Chicago area.

CityLibraries Townsville was formed by the merger of the Townsville City Council and Thuringowa City Council in March 2008.  Three library branches, mobile services plus a virtual branch serve the whole of Townsville – from the inner city to Magnetic Island, from the suburbs to the rural communities.  Each branch offers specialist services and facilities that provide for a diverse community.


Richard Sayers
Director, Capability Development
+61 7 3491 7021
[email protected]

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