CIL 2007 – From Core Competencies to Learning 2.0 – Helene Blowers

Am going to be visiting Charlotte in the last 2 days of this week, so introduced myself to Helen before the session – also managed to grab a quick chat with Meredith Farkas, Nicole Engard and Aaron Schmid – very exciting!

All feeling the technology surge, which is getting better. Like a wave, trying to stay on the rest of the wave, not fall in front or fall behind. Greater demand for services, high user expectations and more. New model for libraries is technology as a foundation on top of funding, providing highly skilled and trained staff, real and virtual connections, real and virtual services.

PLCMC Information Technology Core Competencies are at 4 levels. Not providing service when it is someone elses job to support technology. Lori Reed is their core competencies trainer. Core I – every staff person should be able to do it, eg. access the intranet, enter timesheets, print, save files. (will have a link to all the core competency lists via Helene’s blog) . Pre-assessment showed that biggest need was in core troubleshooting. Core II includes patron support competencies such as searching the catalogue and using ILS (Horizon). Core III – envisionware & LPT for PC management and printing, One competencies. Core IV – more librarians and public trainers needed basic AV knowledge (ie. connecting laptop and projector), imaging and Public Technology training. The Core Competencies are aimed at supporting public service, so not management or administration.

Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries by Sarah Houghton-Jan recommended, as well as Web Junction – two tiered.

Core competencies support the changes that have already happened and are integrated into our everyday work. Different approach required for new changes, hence the Learning 2.0 program. How do we prepare and stay current in the information arena. Its all over the media.

Learning 2.0 started as Tech Bytes where they introduced RSS and blogging to staff. They came for 1 1/2 hr workshop, but after 3 months, they had reached 65 out of 540 staff. The info has to get out quick as it is all changing so quick. Had to do something different. Inspired by Stephen Abrams 43 things. Trimmed it back to 23 Things – Learning 2.0 was born. Learning program to encourage staff and expose them to Web 2.0 tools that are out there.

9 weeks of program, plus 1 month of extra exploration time. Mostly free, apart from time and the cost of a microphone (apart from the cost of the staff rewards for completing it). All done using freely available web 2.0 tools.

It was all about exposing staff to new tools, encouraging play, empowering individuals, expanding the knowledge toolbox and eliminating fear. Encouraging staff to learn and have fun.

Its also about staff controlling their life-long learning, not about having it all delivered to them. Learning 2.0 is a weapon of mass instruction.

Learning 2.0 best practices:

don’t confuse learning with training

building the program for late bloomers

allow participants to blog anonymously

communicate weekly using 1.0 methods

focus on discovery and encourage challenges

encourage staff to use each other and work together

Remember that its not about acceptance or doing it right – its about exposure

Practice transparency and radical trust

And continually encourage staff to play!!!

Been duplicated by many different libraries. Its out there for free.