PLCMC Technology Summit Kicks Off Learning 2.0 for Staff!

PLCMC Learning 2.0

This blog has been set-up as part of PLCMC’s Learning 2.0 project to encourage staff to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today. The objectives of this program are to:

  • encourage exploration of Web 2.0 and new technologies by PLCMC staff.
  • provide staff with new tools (that are freely available on the Internet) to better support PLCMC’s mission: Expanding minds, Empowering individuals and Enriching our community.
  • reward staff for taking the initiative to complete 23 self-discovery exercises.

Yesterday, Michael Casey and I gave presentations at the PLCMC Technology Summit at the incredible Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County. The Summit was held in the ImaginOn and absolutely incredible library and children’s theatre complex.

The Summit was the launch of a new staff immersion and education program — highlighting all things social on the Web. Conceived by Helene Blowers, Public Services Technology Director for PLCMC and blogger at Library TechBytes, the Learning 2.0 online course will guide library staff through a set of “23 Things” they can do in the new web:

Learning 2.0 is online learning program that encourages staff to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other.

Over the course of the next eight and a half weeks, this website will highlight “23 Things” and discovery exercises to help staff become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, and video and image hosting sites.

Any staff who complete all 23 Things will receive an MP3 Player and be entered in a drawing for a laptop and other prizes at library staff day! What an incredible opportunity to learn new tools and get some cool tech as well. I kid you not, if every single staff member completes the course, they get an MP3 player!

The most encouraging thing to me is ANY LIBRARY CAN DO THIS! Helene has used totally FREE tools to set up an engaging learning environment and built some exercises and explorations. Take a look at Week 3:

Week 3: Photos & Images
Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting sites.
Have some Flickr fun and discover some 3rd party sites.
Create a blog post about anything technology related that interests you this week.

Pretty easy and straightforward, yes? In my talk yesterday, I encouraged the librarians attending to have a sense of play, to be curious and to have a willingness to try new things — these 23 Things fit the bill nicely!

Over dinner last night, we discussed how other librarians outside the PLCMC system could follow along and see how it’s done and then try their own Learning 2.0 initiative with their staff. This is a model any library could adapt and use. And I really believe any of us, with some motivation and resources like this, could explore, learn and, in the end, make their library more “social.”

Congrats to Helene and everyone at PLCMC for taking on such a wonderful venture!