Helene Blowers has been named the winner of the 2008 LITA/Library Hi Tech award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology. Emerald and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, sponsor the award.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating to educate practitioners within the library field in library and information technology. It consists of $1,000 and a certificate of merit.
Helene Blowers is the Director of Digital Strategy for the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio. Previous to her current position, she served as the Public Services Technology Director for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), in Charlotte, NC. She provided leadership for many award winning library services including StoryPlace.org, BookHive.org and Readersclub.org. But perhaps the best known of her many accomplishments was her role as the architect and developer of “Learning 2.0: 23 Things”, an online discovery program designed to encourage library staff to explore new technologies. The application is remarkable for the innovative approach it employs but also for its profound impact on the world of technology training for library staff. To date, over 200 libraries have created and delivered their own versions, including a number of libraries outside the United States. Learning 2.0 opens up the world of Web 2.0 to new participants, inviting personal initiative and encouraging experimentation. All the blog posts and podcasts that were created for the program have been licensed for re-use under Creative Commons, allowing libraries everywhere to create their own Learning 2.0 programs.