This is the lead-off to the Public Libraries’ Futures track.
Jenny Levine gave a “where we are” with library 2.0. She pointed out that in this year’s IL2006 program, the “new things” like podcasting, RSS, social software, etc are appearing in many of the sessions.
Michael Stephens spoke next – he gave an example of how you can now connect with individuals, by subscribing to someone’s photo feed, their music feed from last.fm, etc. This example showed how the world is changing.
Then he introduced and talked about Library and Librarian 2.0 – celebrating it’s first anniversary.
- Expand the brand – Starbucks – selling books and music, even holding book discussions.
- Marketing – we need to be pushing our stuff out to people! Focus on experiences patrons have rather than numbers.
- Break down barriers – look at signs… how do you present yourselves to people? Think – does it place a barrier between the user and the service? Is it librarian or user centered? Does it make more work for the patron or the librarian?
- Going where the users are… create ways for customers to talk with the library!
- Adopt a 2.0 philosophy. Hire 2.0 librarians. Virtual tours on Flickr… The gadget garage… Work on the experience patrons have at your library.
- Create a culture of trust – let people comment… trust your users. Trust your staff.
Helene Blowers was next – she spoke about her library’s Learning 2.0 project.
PLCMC decided to introduce staff to new stuff on the web… and they decided to:
- Encourage staff to take responsibility for their learning… wow!
- AND REWARD THEM!
- This wasn’t a training program – it was a learning program. They didn’t create any training program, any handouts, etc! Instead, it was a self-paced learning program, and the learners helped each other. Neat concept.
- They put out a carrot – everyone who completes the program gets a free mp3 player, and they have a chance to win a laptop.
- 352 of their over 500-member staff has gone through the program. Voluntarily.
Everyone in the program blogs their experiences.
Why? Here’s a great example… they subscribe to Overdrive, but hardly any staff member had ever downloaded/listened to a digital audiobook. That’s a lot of money to spend on something for customers… if your staff can’t even use it!
Quotes from the program can be found at del.icio.us/hblowers/learning2.0Eval