Category Archives: Learning 2.0 & Beyond

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

Beyond 2.0: Playful Teamwork



From February 23 to May 4, 2009, the Virginia Beach Public Library will offer Beyond 2.0 – Playful Teamwork, a life-long learning and team collaboration experience for library staff. The program is designed to:

  • enhance business practices through the use of technology to improve internal operations and communications and enhance services to citizens
  • contribute to a fun, playful workplace that inspires collaboration among library staff members
  • expand library staff’s knowledge base
  • foster implementation of web 2.0 skills

The Beyond 2.0 program is be comprised of two parts:

A learning based blog
A staff collaboration opportunity

Virginia Beach Libraries re launching an exploration and project-based spin off of Learning 2.0. Looks like this program is focused on creativity and teamwork – the end result is a project “to create something of value for library staff or customers.”  This will be very interesting to watch. I also be going down to Virginia beach in May to work with the staff for a couple of days.

Ten Tips for 23 Things at SLJ

Helene Blowers presents “Ten Tips for 23 Things” in the new SLJ:

I especially appreciate this one:

9. Enable transparency and practice radical trust.

Transparency and radical trust are two of the cornerstones of the whole 2.0 movement, and these elements are no less important to the learning environment. In creating this effort to fully engage and empower the staff, my library had to assume an unprecedented trust in our employees and practice transparency when it came to communicating with them. Allowing staff members to blog openly and anonymously implies a great deal of faith and is not something with which every organization is immediately comfortable. But once you experience the benefits and see how this approach motivates and empowers staff to learn on their own, it’s hard to imagine proceeding otherwise.

It is also important to recognize that transparency in online participation relates to an individual’s comfort level. Take the matter of an individual’s identity. Participants should be allowed to choose how they identify themselves, whether they blog under their real name or some other moniker.

Excuse me, Prof. – Can I Twitter that?

I take notes, share those notes, and build a community with my peers – just by using twitter -it’s really quite simple.

This is how I feel about Twitter in the classroom.  But the 9/18/08 article over at Techdirt, and the comments in particular, paints some different hues (see: “Should you live blog/twitter a class?“).

Last weekend I was engulfed in one of three weekend intensive sessions in Michael’s “Library 2.0 & Social Networking Technologies” class.  As he went through his well-honed version of “The Hyperlinked Library”, I thought, “man, it would be cool to capture some of this and my reflections.”  At this point some might be saying, “yes, Kyle, you should be taking notes.”  But I took it one step further.

I hopped on Twitter, signed up for a quick account, and started tweeting(?) my heart out with every thought and quick reflection.  I also linked my tweets straight into my class WordPress MU blog.  Soon enough, a classmate had seen my twitter and we became reflective friends.

But at lunch time I timidly asked Michael, “yea, would you be mad if I Twittered class?”  Those of you who know Michael would know that angry would not be his response to this.  He was more intrigued and interested and happy than anything else.

If you’ve read the Techdirt article you know that this is the complete opposite reaction than that of the NYU journalism professor.  But I will admit, I’m just as guilty as most students who zone off in class and dive into the ether that is Facebook – and I’ve done it in Michael’s class, too (*sorry :/*).  But I turned my lust for technology and social networking into a productive method by writing my reflections in Twitter.  On top of that, I got to know some of my classmates before even saying a “hello” to them.

As Brian Rowe, a commenter in the article, wrote:

Sharing what you learn or don’t learn is an important part of being global citizen and helping free culture

I couldn’t agree more.  But some couldn’t agree less, as in this comment by Vince:

I can’t defend this. I believe this material should not be posted outside of the classroom…this material is not owned by the student.

He continues to say:

Universities usually have some sort of internal CMS such as Blackboard or WebCT that allows them to share classroom material and most professors actively use these systems. Theres [sic] no excuse.

I agree with Vince, students shouldn’t and legally can’t copy their professors’ academic work for public access unless that is their wish.  Michael posts “The Hyperlinked Library” here at TTW, but I still wouldn’t post any other of his materials without permission.

What I’m doing is taking brief reflective notes – similar to how I would do it in a notebook – and providing my classmates with an opportunity to respond to my reflections.

I’m curious:  Any grad students (or any student readers for that matter) who blog or use Twitter in class?

~Kyle Jones~
TTW Contributor

Baker’s Dozen: Learning 2.0 in Arizona


Jen ManeyVirtual Library Manager, at the Pima County Public Library wrote to say that her Emerging Tech team has kicked off a statewide Learning 2.0 program today called Baker’s Dozen: Learning 2.0 Arizona. They are using a wiki for the program – Any library staff member in Arizona (any kind of library, including library school students!) can participate.