Social Bookmarking in Plain English

Last year I developed a low-tech way to demonstrate commenting and tagging during a follow-up class on Learning 2.0. We found some funny pictures, taped them to a few flip charts, and gave everyone in the class some post it notes to write down their comments and labels for the pictures. On one of the flip charts we left the post it notes up for everyone to see (Web 2.0). On another flip chart we removed the post it notes as soon as they were posted (Web 1.0).It was fun and useful in a few ways. It was an easy way to get the concept across to the learners. It also gave everyone a chance to get up and move around–which is always good in after lunch training session.Today I came across this clip on YouTube that explains tagging. This is so well-done using just some scraps of paper that have been cut out! The first thing I thought was, “Why didn’t I think of that!” They’ve actually done a lot of clips like this, so it is worth checking out and seems like it would be a good way to introduce folks to some of the more intimidating 2.0 stuff.


And the winner is…

Wow it’s been a long journey and after reading over 200 blogs every day for Learning 2.0, I can breathe a sigh of relief and hopefully clear up my Bloglines account!

So at the end of the journey 222 staff completed the 23 things and many more are following along around the world.

Want to see who won the laptop. Watch and see…

Congratulations! I wish I could have been there to see the surprise!

11 Days Left

There are 11 days left for PLCMC staff to complete Learning 2.0 and the 23 things and earn their reward of an MP3 player. However, learning does not really ever end.

To those staff who will not, for whatever reason, be able to complete all 23 things by October 31st, I hope that you will complete the activity anyway at your own pace.

Do you need some motivation to get back on track? Here are some tips for Learning 2.0:

  • Read all of Helene’s blog posts and tutorials and listen to the podcasts. It might be helpful to print them out one at a time so that you can read them when you don’t have access to a computer. Each post will give you the basics of what you need to complete the task.
  • Don’t try to over do it. Sure other people have gone above and beyond but that does not mean that you have to. Just do what is required for each post and you can go back later to play with the things you like the best.
  • Remember that this is a self-discovery process and that the journey is just as important as the final reward. There is a reason why there were no official classes or cheat sheets for this program. Each and every person has the ability to complete all of these activities. Don’t believe me? Ask Rosemary Lands! Believe in yourself and believe that you can do this. I hope that after Learning 2.o we will see a big shift in the way we think about training.
  • If you need help, ask! You are not alone. Over 100 staff have already completed this journey. Feel free to call, e-mail me, or if you are at Main Library stop by my desk. I’ve been surprised at how few people have asked me for help, but I am so proud to see other staff stepping up to the plate and helping other staff.
  • Support and encourage each other! Many departments that have already completed Learning 2.0 have said the biggest reward is the sense of community that has been established. Use this community to your advantage.
  • Have fun! If you are not having fun you are missing the point. Life is too short to not have fun!


Helene personally delivered my MP3 player today. Luckily it came with instructions. I am not one who likes to read instructions, but I couldn’t have figured out how to work the player without them.

The first thing I did was download an audiobook. I have been chained by headphones to a computer for too long and the old MP3 player that I have at home does not have enough memory for even a short audiobook. Thank goodness this player has 1 GB of memory! Thank you Helene!

Some things to note for those who are going to download audiobooks from NetLibrary:

  • After you set up your NetLibrary account via the Online Resources page, log out, and from now on go directly to to log in. If you access NetLibrary via the Online Resources page you are going to be routed through a proxy server at Main Library. If this happens your connection will be so slow that you will have little patience in waiting for a download–not to mention unnecessarily tying up our bandwidth!
  • Go to the AudioBooks page on PLCMC. There is a link to Downloading an Audiobook to a Portable Player that will show you how to get the audiobook from Windows Media Player to the MP3 player. I had a hard time finding the book because it downloaded to a temporary file, but once I found it and moved it to the Desktop everything went smoothly.

The ear buds were a little awkward at first and I thought they were going to fall out of my ears, but as long as I don’t pull on the wires they stay in.

So there are 19 days left for PLCMC staff to earn an MP3 player. For those who have not jumped on board yet, what are you waiting for? You have over 200 staff who have completed all 23 things that can help you! Come on in the water is just fine!

Week 9 Thing 23: The end and the beginning

Wow have 9 weeks gone by already?

I knew this was a great idea from the moment Helene told me about it. I am also surprised at how many other libraries have picked up the idea and caught on. Every time I talk to someone from another library system the first thing I hear is, “Oh you guys are the ones that started the Learning 2.0 thing…”

Like Salad Days mentions it was really great to see a shift in the attitudes of some co-workers. I know of one person in particular (you know who you are) who I never thought would come to love technology.

I would say that the program was a huge success. What worked:

  • The fact that the entire program was created and participants used only free Web 2.0 tools that are readily available to anyone. I think this is a huge benefit and one of the things that has made other libraries so interested in following along with this program.
  • Little instruction. There were no classes and only two tutorials. This was truly an exercise in self-learning and discovery. Staff relied on each other for help and hopefully gained more confidence in themselves and in other staff as both learners and instructors. I heard some comments that the instructions were too vague, but I think that if they were more specific it might have defeated the purpose of the activities.
  • Creative scheduling at branches. I was so impressed when I heard that reference staff from Mint Hill were covering the desk for circulation staff so that circulation staff had time to blog. Way to go Mint Hill!

What could be improved:

  • Accommodations for staff who were not ready for this level of Web 2.0. I can see clearly now that if you learn a skill you must continue to use it or you will forget. Whose responsibility is it to make sure that learners continue to practice skills that they learn? The trainer? The learner? The supervisor? In Core Competencies training last year all staff learned the basics of using the Internet, but some staff never used the Internet past the Core Competencies training. In the beginning they were very excited and enthusiastic about Learning 2.0 but quickly became frustrated when they realized they did not have the basic skills needed to participate. I wish that I would have had more time to work with these people one on one to help them more. Now that Learning 2.0 is wrapping up, how will we keep staff interested in Web 2.0?

Other thoughts:

  • I’ve heard a lot of buzz and excitement around the incentives for this program. I think it is great that we are able to offer these, but I also hope that more staff come away from this feeling that the learning and experience was enough of an incentive to participate, and that they will participate in more self-directed learning in the future. Jersey Girl expressed this really well in her final post:

    I have to admit that in the beginning an MP3 player was the end in my mind. But along the way I learned that that was not all I was going to achieve when I finished this program. I learned about myself and what I can accomplish and I learned about my coworkers and what interests them in and outside of work. I also got to meet some people at other branches, through their blogs, that I might not have met otherwise. I learned that you can start out on one path expecting one thing and meander along to find the end is not what you expected, but that it is still okay. That to me is a great ending.

    We will soon be offering opportunities for staff to participate in live online training. I hope that the experiences with Learning 2.0 have helped to prepare and make staff feel more comfortable in trying out another new learning environment.