IL2009: Sneaking the Social Web Into Your Library & Going Beyond 23 Things

I presented this session Monday afternoon with Bobbi Newman and Erin Downey-Howerton. My portion of the session, 23 Things & Beyond, reviewed Learning 2.0 and 23 Things. There were people in the audience who still had not heard of this great program. I introduced the key principles of 23 Things programs connection, collaboration, play, and prizes. Then I presented some ideas for what to do after a 23 Things program.

The challenge here is how to continue the momentum when the prizes are given out and the official program is over. When does learning become its own reward for staff? I shared the Learning 2.1 site which is where PLCMC continued its Web 2.0 learning.  I also shared Learn Chat a twitter based discussion group for trainers that takes place on Twitter on Thursday nights.

One of the keys to engaging learners online is to reach out to them in their native environments. Many of our staff are already on Facebook so that has become a natural place for me to reach them. I’ve begun posting status updates during the day to let staff know where I am and how they can reach me. A few staff contact me regularly through Facebook chat to ask questions about training and registration. I foresee some research in my future about demonstrating the value of allowing staff to use social networking sites while at work.

I ended the presentation with the steps to creating a marketing/learning/really any plan.

  1. Identify a need.
  2. Research.
  3. Identify the audience.
  4. Identify objectives. Output or outcome?
  5. Craft your message.
  6. Find the right platform/tools.
  7. Develop a plan.
  8. Evaluate. How will you know what worked?

Notice that you don’t even consider whether to use Facebook, Twitter, or blogs until step 6. It’s crucial to first identify a need, your audience, and objectives before thinking about how to get your message out. That’s not to say that you can’t play. Play is essential for learning! But when you are creating a strategic, long-term plan it’s important to lay the groundwork for success.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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