23 Things Kansas starting soon!

Kansas librarians, pay attention! You might be interested in 23 Things Kansas, a 23 Things program for our state.

What is a 23 Things program? From the 23 Things Kansas website, it’s “a fun way to learn about and practice with online tools for community, sharing and productivity.”

And it’s a pretty cool thing – for January-April, you learn about many emerging web-based tools – some familiar, some not quite so familiar. Each week focuses on one thing – for example, the week I’m facilitating is all about web-based video. So that week, we will play with sites like YouTube and Vimeo, search for videos in video search engines, and some of us will even create videos and upload them to the web. And then some.

Want to find out more? Go visit the website … and don’t forget to register!

Tinkering in the Techie Toybox at NEFLIN

The second presentation I gave at NEFLIN in Jacksonville, FL was Tinkering in the Techie Toybox – here’s the Slideshare version and a couple of links included in the presentation. Enjoy!

Links to other Techie Toyboxes I mentioned in the presentation:

CIL2009: Learning Solutions Through Technology

Sarah Houghton-Jan, Lori Reed


First time in history we have 4 generations of people in the workforce. Some people are always wired, some aren’t there yet.

another consideration – time & money. Need to figure out how best to use our money/time for training…

Showing a “Calculated Savings” slide – showing how much they spend in mileage reimbursements for travel time to and from training. Wow.

elearning solutions:

  • asynchronous (blackboard, not all there at same time, learning 2.0 classes)
  • synchronous training – all online at the same time (webjunction classes, webinars – opal, webex, go to meeting, adobe connect, dim dim, etc) – have to have bandwidth to support this type of training.
  • blended – blending both together

Giving examples of blended learning: using physical and digital social spaces…

Best learning is informal learning

Don’t put the cart before the horse – there are some things you have to figure out first:

  • Determine what the need is first – what do they need to learn/to improve their jobs, etc
  • Then determine who the audience is

Talkshoe as a good tool for communication. WebJunction as another (their webinars).

Twitter is a great way to reinforce learning.

Tips to implement elearning:

  • you need support from the top
  • include IT in discussions early on
  • trainer, train thyself
  • don’t put speed over quality – if it fails, elearning will get a bad name.Make sure you’re doing it correct!
  • have a plan – create goals
  • be prepared to demonstrate ROI – might be costs!
  • enlist the help of tech-savvy staff
  • look for support from local businesses


Oops … missed a bit. Starting now…

Tech2Know Program Plan:

series of short web-based how-to guides, tutorials, etc. Sorta like a 23 Things program for competencies. One topic a week…

3 follow-up elements:

1. permanent online discussion forums for each topic

2. tech playground

3. an ask the techies week when the helpdesk would target lingering issues people have had about anything

Some core principles:

prizes – important! Library Genius 2.0 t-shirts from ACPL, find free or low-cost swag – USB drives that cost $4, etc.

Why invest in staff training? save money, strengthen skills, improve customer service, shows commitment to lifelong learning, increases staff retention, motivates staff to keep learning, increases efficiency

Benefits: really helps improve staff – their skills, their job descriptions, future training eneds, helps with performance evals, consistent customer service. That “come back next tuesday when Jill’s at the desk” statement? Not acceptable.

Project Planning: start with goals.

Planning questions:

what are your goals?

who manages the project?

Do you have or need to create a skills list?

Do you have a timeline in mind?

What are your resources (funding and staff)?

What training resources exist, and which ones need to be created?

Ensure staff buy-in:

  • listen – if you ask, use their input
  • keep everyone informed
  • reassure staff they don’t have to know it all now
  • managers MUST follow project plan
  • hold a brainstorming session or party
  • fun. rewards. food.

Admin buy-in:

  • write a purpose statement
  • determine measurable deliverables
  • build training in to performance evals
  • train admin/management first or separately

Creating a training program:

  • decide on types and numbers of training
  • start with the basic topics
  • open training to all staff
  • mandatory or voluntary?
  • training budget based on staff needs
  • set goals and rewards

Ongoing learning:

  • Do a mix of scheduled and unscheduled learning…
  • give staff 15 minutes a day to study/learn
  • schedule 1 off-desk hour for self-study
  • encourage conference/lecture attendance
  • share online tutorials, etc

Tips: ask students to dream at the end – if you ruled the library, what would you change now, after learning this stuff? (came from Michael Stephens)

23 Things Summit notes

Today, I participated in the 23 Things Summit, a webinar focused on exploring and improving Learning 2.0/23 Things programs put on by Webjunction, MaintainIT, TechSoup, and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. For my tiny part of the summit, I interviewed Helene Blowers and Michael Sauers. Here are notes on other people I listened to:

Twitter hashtag – #23smt

I interviewed Helene Blowers – here are my questions:

  • The concept of a Learning 2.0 or a 23 Things program originated with you, I believe. Can you share where this idea came from? Why did you start it? What was going on?
  • How did you start the program? Was it considered employee training? Did everyone at the library have to participate? Was there some impetus from admin to go through the program?
  • You did the first one – How did it go for your library?
  • If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change and why?
  • Was there any resistance with staff, lower or upper level?
  • It’s now global – how did it start taking off? Where is it now?

Jen Maney

They did 13 things – put them on a wiki

ended up doing a program for the whole state of arizona

2 goals:

  1. encourage exploration of 2.0 tools
  2. provide staff with new tools to better support the role of libraries as places of discovery

3 rules:

  1. give yourself permission to play
  2. make time for discovery
  3. have fun!

what we did right: included things relevant to area libraries, like online gaming, digital downloads – nice.

cool outcomes included: connections between people, rural library participation, early and late beginners, people did it at home, dial up didn’t stop them!, empowerment, not just for young people anymore!

Needed more communication!

Needed more local facilitation, have “a buddy” to help them

more incentives

13% completion rate – numbers weren’t the goal – people are still working on it

Ann Walker Smalley, Ruth Solie

From Minnesota

used blog as delivery method – 23thingsonastick.blogspot.com

tried to avoid things that were downloadable because of public lbirary policies

wow – some libraries actually unblocked things that were blocked just for this program – very cool

1600 registered participants! Wow. 600 finished, 38% finish rate. They received a USB flash drive. Nice.


Next up, me interviewing Michael Sauers

He presented, then I asked two questions:

  • How do you set up getting CE Credits for this? Great idea
  • Has anything come of your program yet, like new services, new blogs, etc?


Bobbi Newman

Missouri River Regional Library – first in the USA to do this after Charlotte’s original program

added MySpace because MySpace was getting bad press, but users were using it so they wanted staff to be familiar with it

Their program ran a full year

Lifelong learning was important

(sorry, I missed stuff here! My bad)


Shirley Biladeau

[aside – our twitter hashtag, #23smt, has trended – it’s #9 right now]

Their program info is here

They encouraged library directors to encourage their staff. Nice.


Q & A

Facilitated by Stephanie Gerding

Q: How do you get buy-in? How to sell this to management? How do you champion the concept of 2.0 to a 1.0 team?

A: Jen – it takes time. Admin has to hear about this stuff more than once.

Q: How do you encourage play?

A: Have peers do the coaching/mentoring

Q: How much time per week is needed for this program?

A: One hour

A: Michael – the answer is: it varies widely person to person. Some people spent 15 minutes, some spent 6 hours, etc.

A: Bobbi – they originally thought 2 hours a week, but participants told them they needed much more time than that

Q: For those running the program – how much time?

A: Bobbi – round 1 took a lot of time! At night, on her own time… Round 2 – comments were left on the official blog rather than on everyone’s blogs

A: Jen had a student working 20 hours a week on this

Q: incentives

A: Michael – used donations

A: Vendors

A: Certificate of completion, mp3 players

A: library association funds!

A: CE certificate credit

A: Bobbi – their team paid for completion gifts out of their own pocket because they believed in it so much – cool

Q: How did you measure participation and completion?

A: spreadsheet – someone used Google spreadsheet

A: Used SurveyMonkey to do a survey about what got answered

Q: DId you use an online community or CMS?

A: Ning, Drupal, wetpaint, Blogger, etc – a variety

Q: Replicating?

A: school librarians DID participate, but had to do it from home because most of the tools used were blocked

Q: did small libraries participate?

A: yes – many one-person-staff libraries did

Q: How did it change your styles as coordinator?

A: converted people to the “go play with it” style

A: remember that people learn in many different styles

Q: Has anyone done a 23 things styled program for patrons?

A: great idea

A: Metronet in MN is doing one with highschool students

Q: How do you deal with people who say they don’t have time?

A: Michael – make it continuous, flexible

A: no time is good for everyone, so provide options

A: make it relevant to their lives

Q: Did anyone use Second Life as a thing to learn?

A: No…

A: Michael mentioned that SL has an extra download component, and many sites can’t or don’t want to install extra software…

Q: Impact on community

A: help patrons with the tools they’re using

A: Bobbi – Outreach tools

I missed a lot! Thankfully, the archive is here.

Tinkering in the Techie Toybox – my presentation

I just finished a webcast presentation for the SirsiDynix Institute titled Tinkering in the Techie Toybox: Staying on Top of Consumer Technology. As promised, here are some links mentioned in the presentation:

And a copy of my slides (SirsiDynix recorded the presentation and will be posting that, probably within the next week or so).