Category Archives: Learning 2.0 & Beyond

Web 2.0 & Libraries Parts 1 & 2 Available Free on Hyperlinked Library Site

I am happy to announce the full text of both of my ALA Library Technology Reports are available now at the new TTW companion site The Hyperlinked Library.

The rest of the site is currently under construction, but for now you’ll find:

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software (2006) –

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Trends & Technologies (2007) –

Special thanks to my SJSU SLIS grad assistant Patrick Siebold who worked very hard the past few weeks inputting the content. I know the examples from ’06 and ’07 may seem out of date and quaint in some ways, but I’m very proud of the framework we used for the works back then. Conversations, Community, Connections, Collaborations – all those great C words Jenny Levine and I used throughout our early social software roadshows in 2005 & 2006 provide a useful context for looking at Web 2.0. I hope these works are still useful to some of you. Comments are open for adding more to the chapters and I plan on doing some types of updating as time permits.

The site will also serve my course Web sites and other items related to my teaching. 

SJSU SLIS News: Dr. Michael Stephens Awarded Grant to Explore Efficacy of Learning 2.0 Program
Congratulations to SJSU SLIS faculty member Dr. Michael Stephens, who recently received a $11,786 grant award from the university, which will allow him to conduct a preliminary study of the Learning 2.0 professional development program and its implementation at U.S. libraries.

Since its debut five years ago, nearly 1,000 libraries worldwide have offered the Learning 2.0 professional development program to their staff. The self-paced, online program aims to educate library personnel about emerging technology, generate a willingness to explore and adapt to technological change, and gain new knowledge regarding how to use emerging technology to better serve their communities.

In this one-year study, Stephens will initiate an exploration of how this widespread professional development program is impacting library staff and library services in the United States, how the program model can be refined to improve long-term outcomes, and how it can inform further research regarding self-directed online professional development models. The research conducted during this preliminary study will focus on the program’s impact at public libraries in one region and lay the foundation for a broader nationwide study regarding the efficacy and impact of the Learning 2.0 program model.

Stephens conducted the only in-depth examination of the Learning 2.0 program model to date, as he studied Learning 2.0 programs in academic libraries in Australia and published his findings in 2011. With this grant award, Stephens will extend his research by exploring implementation of Learning 2.0 programs at diverse types of libraries in the United States.

Office Hours: What We learned from Learning 2.0

My new column is up at Library Journal:

In their recent book, A New Culture of Learning (CreateSpace, 2011), Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown explore similar concepts and the importance of continuous learning. The parallels to the original Learning 2.0 model are striking. The book is based on several assumptions about our new normal, for example, “The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life,” and “Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation.”

Planning for ongoing organizational learning for staff may seem like just “one more thing” in our stressed environments, but without backing and emphasis from library leaders, exploration and innovation may wane.

The library should serve as a hub for sustaining a culture of learning around technology and research using variations on the model. Extending the program to users or shifting focus from technologies to other areas of learning and reflection is a natural progression. The public “Looking at 2.0” program at the State Library of Queensland continues to engage users with topics and award prizes. Consider new audiences as well, such as Research 2.0, a program created for researchers at Imperial College in the UK.

How do you sustain the learning culture in your setting?

Podcast: Welcome to the New Normal

I was honored to be invited to chat on this podcast:


Bibliotech show #9 for Monday November 14, 2011

Welcome to the New Normal

Hosts: Kayhan B., Erin Anderson and Doug Mirams

Guests: Michael Stephens

Topics: Dr. Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor at the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University and creator of Tame the Web, a well known library blog, discusses general trends with regards to libraries and technology, Library 2.0, the “New Normal” and much more.

Exemplary Practice for Learning 2.0

As a companion to the article I have at InfoToday Europe, here’s a short list of some of the exemplary practice we’re pulling out of the Learning 2.0 research:

(From  Stephens, M., & Cheetham, W. (2011). The impact and effect of learning 2.0 programs in Australian academic libraries. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 17(1), 31-63.

  • Allow staff time to work on the program and make it a firm commitment.
  • Break down any barriers on the tools put in place by IT departments making sure access is possible from employee computers.
  • Commit to an ongoing communication and learning strategy for staff after the program concludes.
  • Use the program as a way to promote the library and its services to other departments and then encourage sharing, outreach and utilization of the tools.

Exploring the impact of Learning 2.0

I have an article up at InfoToday Europe on the CAVAL Australian research:

Results of the research project have been presented at conferences in Australia and the United States as well as in published articles. Here is a breakdown of some of the major findings of the research:

Better awareness of new technologies and inclusivity is a result of the programme.

Aligning with one of the most popular category responses of the national survey, the case study findings at CityLibraries also reflect a general feeling that the programme creates better awareness of emerging technologies and offers a chance for all staff to feel included.  One survey respondent noted: “Raised awareness of the potential application of these technologies- Had a bonding affect on staff” while another stated: “Better general knowledge amongst staff, and greater use of the technologies with staff and patrons.”

Supercharge your CPD: 23 Things for Professional Development – A TTW Guest Post by Maria Giovanna De Simone

What is it?

23 Things for Professional Development, also known as cpd23, is a self-directed, self-paced, inclusive, practical and free online programme open to librarians and information professionals at all stages of their career, in any type of role, any sector, and from any part of the world.  It encourages information professionals to explore and discover social media ‘Things’, including Twitter, RSS feeds and file-sharing, as well as other ‘traditional’ CPD routes, such as gaining qualifications, presenting skills and getting published.  Participants will be asked to assess how each Thing can assist them in their professional development, and then to blog about each Thing and share their thoughts, views and expertise.  The programme is completely informal and no prior knowledge or experience is expected or assumed.

What will I have to do?

Each week, details about one or more of the Things will be posted on the central cpd23 blog (  We’ll then invite you to explore the Thing in question – and don’t worry, we’ll provide lots of guidance and support – and then to record your response on your own personal blog.  Please don’t worry if you haven’t already got a blog as we’ll cover that in Thing 1, but feel free to use an existing blog if you’ve got one.  We’ll ask you to register your blog with us as part of Thing 2, just so we know that you’re taking part and can say hello!  And we’ll list all the participants-about 280 so far, from all over the world, and rising all the time-on a Delicious page and in an RSS bundle so you can find other people taking part.  We think each Thing will take about an hour to complete, so there’s no major time commitment involved.  There are also plenty of ‘catch-up’ weeks built in, and you can complete the course at your own pace.

What will I gain from it?

23 Things for Professional Development is a great way to supercharge your CPD, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, what role you have, or how professionally involved you already are.  It aims to assist participants to explore their own professional development and to reflect on it.  We hope that it will enable participants to learn about the different ways to enhance their careers and to equip them with the tools, skills, knowledge and confidence to boost, underline or kickstart their CPD.  We also hope that it’ll be a lot of fun and a brilliant opportunity to meet and get connected to other information professionals, as well as an incentive and an excuse to think about-and talk to others about-your career advancement.

I’ve done a 23 Things programme before.  What’s different about cpd23?

The 23 Things framework is tried, tested and trusted, and there have been lots of other programmes.   If you’ve already done one, that’s great!  We still think there’s a lot to gain from taking part in cpd23, and you’ll have a headstart because you know what to expect.  With cpd23, we’ve used the existing framework, but given it a bit of a twist, and it differs in two ways.  First, unlike other programmes, it’s not just about social media, but includes plenty of offline Things too, and some of the social media Things which we’ve included might be different from those used by other programmes.  Second, it’s got a different focus: it isn’t about whether or how you could integrate each Thing into your working life, but about how you could use it for your professional development.  Cpd23 is a little more personal and more reflective than other programmes.

How do I join in?

23 Things for Professional Development starts officially on 20th June, 2011 and it runs until October.  To join in, just visit the central cpd23 blog and get started!  The list of Things is already available online, as well as plenty of other information.  On 20th June we’ll post some guidance and instructions about how to set up and register your blog.  And if, at any time, you’ve got any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the team either by leaving a comment on our blog, or by tweeting us @cpd23.  Please use the hashtag #cpd23 so we can see how you’re getting on.

Anything else?

One last thing is that while we will offer you as much support and guidance as we can, nothing at all can beat the face-to-face support of your colleagues, so encourage them to take part too. So spread the cpd23 message!


Our 23 Things for Professional Development programme was inspired by 23 Things Cambridge, and is based on the original 23 Things programme at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.


Maria Giovanna De Simone, Information Assistant, Careers Service Library, Cambridge, UK,  is one of the  CPD23 organising team members.

The first 23 Things Sharing Day – A TTW Guest Post by Rob Coers

Note from Michael: I’ve followed the “23 Dingen” programs facilitated by my colleague Rob Coers in the Netherlands for some time while working on the Australian research project. I’m hoping to expand my research into this part of the world as well as North America in the next year. For now, here’s an English translation of a great post about the recent Sharing Day. Thanks Rob!

Update: Rob writes: “Latest…in case you understand Dutch,the videos have come available during the weekend. You can check them on the Program page.”

In the past four years the 23 Things learning program has had quite an impact on people who work in various kinds of libraries. Thousands of university, corporate, school and public librarians in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) now have a better understanding of Web 2.0 and social media. The outcome of the program, originally started by Helene Blowers and translated and adapted into Dutch as 23 Dingen byundersigned, has been the subject of a survey by Helene and one in Australian libraries by Michael Stephens.

Every now and then people ask me “Do you have an overview of WHAT libraries have done after they finished the program. Are there new 2.0 based services, new ways of collaboration, new ways of interacting with patrons?” And, honestly, I could never give an informed answer to that.

So… the idea was born, to organize a symposium on June 7, hosted by the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA), and to make this event a get-together with the aim to share ideas and products and to go back home with a trunk full of inspiration.

The day was attended by 200 librarians and hundreds of people were watching it live from their libraries or homes.

Promotional video

Shortly after the event Jan de Waal (aka @digibieb on Twitter) produced an amazing iMovie video. It’s a one-minute impression at the scene and a call to come again in 2012.

Twitter wall, thesis and older tweets
After launching the hashtag #23ddd in March, people started using it in their updates. Actually, promotion of the 23 Dingen Deel Dag – 23DDD (23 Things Sharing Day) was done only via social media like Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated website. On the day of the event, approximately 1300 tweets were sent from mobile devices and computers, using the hashtag.
After each speaker had finished, there was time for questions from the audience and we looked at the Twitter Wall for questions and remarks that showed up, also coming from outside the building.

Older and current tweets can be found via Twitter Search (Google Translate), but it’s unkown whether the result will still exist in a few weeks or months.

We asked the audience to send in a thesis that would be discussed in the room. There were some great ones (Google Translate), good food for thought, but the winner was “As long as libraries are not judged by their quality, but numbers of loans and numbers of members, Web 3.0 is a farce

Two keynote speakers, Hans van Driel speaking on the the transition from Society 1.0 to living together 3.0 and Barry Spooren speaking about their use of social media in organizing the international (music) Festival Incubate,were followed by 10 pitch talks. These were all done by librarians who proudly presented their product as a result of the 23 Dingen program. The list of speakers and their presentations can be found in the Program (Babel Fish translation).

Jan de Waal also took those pictures, published under Creative Commons License and open for comments and notes.

Anyone who could not personally attend the day in Amsterdam, was able to follow the symposium from beginning to the end, thanks to a magnificent broadcast by the OBA library crew. We received several comments from people watching at their libraries or from their homes, that the HD quality from four cameras and the great sound gave them the idea that they were there. The presentation recordings will be made available very soon.

Quotes by some of our speakers

“We see a shift from society 1.0 to living together 3.0. where differentiation and informal learning are key. Libraries need to understand the 2.0 phase in order to survive in the 3.0 era” – Hans van Driel”

“Whodunnit is an interactive multimedia game, that the library can develop in cocreation with teens. It’s a mix of 2.0 tools in a CSI-like setting” – Saskia Dellevoet

“Our Facebook Inspirition Guide for libraries has been helpful for libraries in Belgium to setup a successful Facebook Page with little effort” – Ilse Depré

“We organize the Incubate Festival according OpenSource principles, together with bands, artists and audience. Think of this for your library!” – Barry Spooren

“23 Things has brought us several new features on our website, but most important is that social media are now anchored in our businessplan. The library uses social media, the library behaves as a social medium, the library IS a social medium” – Luc Pruijn


Rob Coers works as an internet trainer, consultant and speaker in The Netherlands. After meeting Helene Blowers in 2006, Rob introduced and developed the Dutch version of the Learning 2.0 Program 23 Things. 23 Dingen has become a major success and has helped libraries and thousands of librarians to get familiar with Web 2.0 and social media. In 2005 Michael and Rob did their first talk together at Internet Librarian International in London.