Friday, August 29, 2008


Frequently Asked Questions.

What about Privacy?

There is none! Everyone can read your Blog, this is the nature of Blogs in general.
Suggestions: You can remain anonymous by choosing a Generic Name for the Blog and hide your user profile if you wish. Keep in mind the type of Posts you make and use discretion in mentioning names/places etc. Copyright issues and intellectual content also apply to Blogs.

How do I Register?
Send the O! What a Geek team (email here) your name. In week two when you create your blog, then use the CUT and PASTE method to put your URL into an email to the team (email here) so we can monitor your progress without further work on your part.

How does this online learning program work?
This is a self-discovery program which encourages staff to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.
Staff are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and "how to's" both in person and through their blogs.

How long do I have to complete this program?
The program begins on Tuesday, September 2nd and ends on Tuesday, December 2nd.

How do I track my progress?
Each staff member that chooses to participate in this program will be required to keep a blog to track their own progress. Basically you will make regular posts to your Blog about what you are learning, likes, dislikes etc... noting each week and addressing each 'Thing'! A Staff tracking log will be kept where your progress will be recorded.

Can I work ahead through the list of items on my own?
No, each week's link will only be activated at the beginning of that week making it easier for people to stay together on an 'even playing field'. However, you will be able to go back to activities that you were unable to complete.

What if I need help - who can I call?
Since this program is self-directed and is being completed by many staff members throughout the system simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey.

Help is also available from the O! What a Geek Team (email here):

Deirdre Routt 444-4497 or
Amy Mather 444-3399 or
Gloria Sorensen 444-3440 or
Sarah English 444-4808 or
Mary Griffin 444-3470 or

Edit this page (you have permission)

Tips for success

This is a self paced program, to do when, and how, you can. With peoples busy schedules we understand that not everyone will be able to complete the 23 things. However, to give yourself the best possible chance to do so, here are a few tips that may help you:
  1. Why? Think about why you want to do the program, and what part these online tools play in today’s society.
  2. How are they used? Find out how other libraries are using these tools to be more productive. Here is a good place to start: Library Success: a best practices wiki
  3. Ask a colleague: Talk to other staff about getting together to work through the tasks together. Maybe a colleague who has already done the program, or is ahead of you, can mentor you and keep you enthused.
  4. A sign: Put a sign up on your PC saying “23 Things” when you are working on it, so other staff know not to interrupt you, or simply to remind you to work on it when you have a few minutes.
  5. Make it interesting: Work out what keeps you interested: celebrities, history, movies, books, cooking, sports, travel etc… and create your blog/activities around this theme.
  6. Regular time: Set aside some regular time to devote to the program in the evening, afternoon, or before you open your email each day.
  7. One day at a time: Take it a day at a time. Do not try and race, but complete each ‘thing’ at your own pace.
  8. Reward Yourself: After each task/week is completed, reward yourself with something of personal value, e.g. Chocolate (dark or milk the choice is yours), a new book or CD, a manicure, or see a movie.

Week 1

Week 1. Learning 2.0 & Lifelong Learning

Learning 2.0 is an online learning program to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other. Over the course of the next eight weeks (but you have 3 months to do complete the program), this website will highlight “23Things” with Discovery Exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, and video and image hosting sites.

Discovery Exercise:

  • Read the Wikipedia definition of Library 2.0 and see how Learning 2.0 impacts upon Library services. Some good resources are also listed on the Wikipedia page.
  • A useful link to a site on Life Long Learning and Library 2.0 in 15 minutes a day (this wiki is no longer being updated but the information is still available): Library Instruction Wiki

Lifelong Learning

Among libraries, lifelong learning is one of those core values we shelve our books by. So it makes sense that before we embark on this new online learning and discovery journey that we should take a few minutes to review a few habits that can assist in creating lifelong learners.

These habits, which we’ve called the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, will provide you with a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Make sure you have headphones or speakers attached to your computer.
  2. Open up the 7 & 1/2 Habits online tutorial and view the online tutorial from the original Learning 2.0 program at Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
  3. As you watch and listen, write down which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and which is hardest. You will use your personal blog (which you will set up next) to post your thoughts about lifelong learning.

8/2008 Update: Since this tutorial has become one of the most popular features of the 23 Things program, Lori Reed (the tutorial's creator) has provided this additional link as follow-up:

Have fun! If you haven't jumped on board yet, it's never too late to become a lifelong learner.


Okay, what is this O! What a Geek: Library Learning 2.0 stuff anyhow?

Learning 2.0 is an online, self paced learning program designed to help staff discover some web 2.0 technologies freely available on the internet. The program was developed by Helene Blowers from the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. She has licensed the program under Creative Commons and it is now used by libraries around the world. We have also made free use of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s adaptations.

Each topic consists of:

  • Discovery resources and instructions;
  • Activities to complete.

More information about Learning 2.0 is on the O! What a Geek blog including the 23 topics or ‘things’ for staff to complete and links to other Learning 2.0 programs done by libraries across the nation and around the world.

Equipment needed

  • Computer with Internet access (this could be a staff computer in the back room, a laptop or perhaps on a public service desk);
  • Sound card and headphones may be needed for some topics;
  • And most importantly… A sense of adventure to learn and PLAY!

Okay, that sounds all right but how can I add this to my current tasks?

  • Because it is an online program, you can control the amount of time you spend on each activity.
  • Aim for 15 minutes a day playing with the new technology, though you may find yourself doing quite a bit more!