I remember thinking after we completed our Leaning 2.0 program here at ACPL “Wow, that was great! What are we going to do next?” I don’t know if it was the effort it took to get this program running or if I was just at a creative low point, but I couldn’t think of a single thing. So I moved onto another project, but never really stopped thinking about how to continue and sustain learning.
Technology is constantly changing and evolving and there is a continued need to educate and train both our staff and the public. Learning 2.0 acted as a booster rocket to promote and focus on staff education. It showed that you can create a self-paced, self study series of courses and these courses could help and support staff in their effort to keep current with technology.
Since technology is not going away and sustaining the energy that a Learning 2.0 program requires is not practical for most institutions. We are faced with the same problem, how do we continue to promote learning?
One day a light bulb flickered in my head and the beginning of an idea emerged. There are a couple of developing trends that I am interested in mashing together. First, people want to support local businesses, everything from farmers markets to coffee houses. Secondly, libraries that are facing hard economic times are forced to become even more proactive in their efforts to go out into the physical and virtual community and engage patrons.
The idea of “Buy Locally” is great, it supports the local economy and strengthen the community so how about “Learn Locally at your Library”? The idea can be the same. The library would focus on learning opportunities that will strengthen and enrich our local community. We can take all the principals of Learning 2.0 that we used to train and support our staff and provide online training opportunities locally for both our staff and patrons.
How is this different than the original 2.0 program? Philosophically there is a change, in the 2.0 program the attention was solely on our staff. The goal was to expose our staff to new technology and support them through the learning process. Here the idea is that our patrons and staff would learn together. “Learning Locally at the Library” allows the patron to learn independently online. They can also interact with a Librarian through email, chat sessions or in person. It is the best of most worlds.
Learning with our community can provide the opportunity for us to form rich and meaningful relationships with our patrons. “Learning Locally at the Library” is about providing online courses in a Learning 2.0 format that is available for both the staff and patrons. “Learning Locally at the Library” is about providing learning opportunities that address specific problems that your community is encountering.
The first set of classes for “Learning Locally at the Library” is called “Job, Dreams and You” here we would show patrons how to create a professional personal persona online and use social networking tools to help them gain employment. Here are the classes I am thinking about creating in this set:
- Introduction to Professional Social Networking
- Email Accounts and How to Use Them (Creating a Professional Persona)
- Creating a Blog
- Using Linkedin
- Using Xing
- Creating a Facebook account
- Using the power of Twitter
- Writing a Killer Resume’ using Online Tools
Part 1 Introduction
Here are some videos that show how social networks can help make new connections and how these new connections might help you get a job.
In Part II of the post I will talk about the specifics on each section.