Learn ... 2.0 & the big E !!

a hillary weber original
Originally uploaded by aaron schmidt.
Thanks to Aaron Schmidt, this image showed up in my email yesterday with this comment...

"my friend hillary painted this about two years ago. after IL06, I
noticed what she wrote in the lower right corner. not only does it say
"learn" and " 2.0" but she put the letter "e" right by it."

Wow! Coincidence ? --and it's a captial E too! Or is Hillary Weber a genius? I think it may be a little of both :)

Thanks Aaron for sharing this inspiration. What a great painting!

Here's a close up of the corner.


New site ...

Yup! Here's the new site. As you can see it's a work in progress and one that I plan to work on a bit more once I have more time this weekend. In the meantime the final 24 hours of Learning 2.0 call. Staff are blogging fast & furious -- Can you say 212 blog posts fast three times? :)

Anyways I'm off to bed and will get rid of that GoDaddy ad stuff later this week (and also recover a few images that didn't migrate well)... in the meantime here's to a new home (and a shorter blog title too!)

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Fab Friday WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew there was some type of reason or karma around the fact that I neglected to post last Friday's Fab Salute and this morning I discovered just exactly why --- the Teen Read Week party at ImaginON!!!

After viewing all the Flickr photos I can only shout out a huge "WOW!" to Michele Gorman for planning and coordinating such a hugely successful event. I mean look at the photos ... 1800+ teens, lines of people around the block clammering to get into the library, jousting, dance party competion, rock wall climbing, 300+ books bundles given away, and what a fun way to celebrate Teen Read Week.

Here's just a few photos to share, but you can view the full set here.

Anyway, as I've already said, Michele Gorman, Teen Services Manager at ImaginOn was the mastermind behind this awesome event! I mean honestly, have you ever heard of 1800+ teens attending a Teen Read week event? Wow! WOW! WOW!!!!!! Just take a look at these fabulous photos -- Doesn't this look AMAZING ?!!!

Congrats to Michele, her team and all the volunteers who helped with this event -- I'll say it again ... WOW!!!

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Learning 2.0 Update

Opps! I left my flash drive at home with my Learning 2.0 slides on it from my recent talk at IL2006 but will post the .pdf from my talk this weekend. My presentation is now online at -- Yup, I couldn't resist trying out this new online storage site - 1 gb Free :)

Learning 2.0 slides - .pdf

Anyway, if you missed the talk or want a recap of what I covered, here's a few links to review:

Thanks Sarah, Meredith & David for doing such an excellent job on blogging the session. It saves me from remembering what I did and did not cover in the morning's blurr. :)

PS: It was also great to finally meet the three of you too and put a friendly face to your blogs. :)

PSS: The numbers for L2 are up - 360 blogs created, 165 MP3 players given away and still 4 days left to the big laptop drawing.:)

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Putting the "e" in Library ...

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot that it’s too bad that the word "library" doesn’t have an “e” in it, because the big “E” is really what libraries are all about.

I know, I know … I’ve probably lost a few you with that opening comment, but bare with me a bit, here’s why …

Have you ever noticed that all the great descriptive words/vowels that describe libraries start with an “e”? educating, empowering, expanding, entertaining, enjoying, experiencing, enriching, enlightening, evolving, etc 

In fact in my own library system, PLCMC, we have adopted a new mission statement in the last year that encompasses (Yup, there’s another great “e” word again) 3 E’s: Expanding minds, empowering individuals, enriching the community” My favorite “e” among these is the middle one “empowering” for this to me this is really the core value of what libraries are all about – empowering the individual.

I know that some libraries have capitalized on and used the “i” to create an emphasis on libraries as an information destination. But with the changing climate I think libraries are becoming less and less associated with this word which defines libraries as knowledge gathering institutions (that’s an “i” word that sounds a bit stoic, doesn’t it?) and more and more connected with words that evoke feelings of empowerment and enjoyable experiences – at least I hope that this is many libraries' goal.

So here’s to my unofficial movement to modify the spelling of the word library a bit … what do you think about “librery” or “libraree”? I know it looks strange doesn’t it? But with so many great “e” words to describe the role of libraries in their communities today I think in a fun way it just kind of makes sense. :)

Anyone want to join me?


Ms. Dewey

Wow - What a fun concept (and with attitude too!)

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The day's recap & a most pleasant ending ...

(Note: I still need to update this post with more links, but the next conference is calling, so I gotta go...)

Wow what a day… and what a pleasure to share the stage and program with Jenny Levine & Michael Stephens this am and talk about Learning 2.0 It was disappointing that Michael Casey couldn’t make the conference, but I was happy to finally meet Laura Savastinuk , the co-author of Library 2.0 book that is soon to be published.

Anyway, I spoke about Learning 2.0 and was happy to discover (& meet) some of the bibliobloggers that I have been following for awhile. Several blogged the 1st session and as usual Michael Stephens rocked !

For the majority of the day I hung around the Public Library Futures track and took in…

  • Stephen Abrams talk on Persona in Action – I’m fascinated by this concept and am really interested in the study process that goes into developing these. I myself probably best fall into the Mommy persona that he identified.

  • Sarah Houghton-Jan (aka Librarian in black) talked Online Outreach for Public Libraries and covered a 16 ways that libraries should be extending themselves virtually to make sure they’re where their customers can find them. I found the item that talked about scanning the peer reviews sites a good one. Note to self - haven’t done this in a while for PLCMC- need to!

  • David Lee King followed Sarah excellent talk with a session on Web-based Experience Planning and use several great examples of companies that focus on the “experience” The Build-a-Bear one really hit home for me, since it was just over a week ago that I took my girls to BaB for a wardrobe upgrade (I found it’s cheaper to to convinced the choopas to bring their old bear and buy one new outfit than to let them acquire a new stuffed friend that they don’t really need.) Anyway, the neat thing at BaB when you do this, is that tagged your old friend with a special pass called the VIB -Very Important Bear. Yup! clever marketing and again, it’s all about the experience. David also showed how Flickr took a system failure message and turned it into a positive fun experience for users. I really loved this one and it made me think… if we do another huge ILS upgrade that requires takes our catalog offline for a day or two again, what could we do to trun the experience into positive one for our users. … hmm… [ thinking ]

  • Lori Bell, Michael Sauers & Tom Peters spoke on Second Life and this for me had to be the most memorable session of the day. Lori is just delightful to hear speak and left the audience including myself in stitches with comments about avatars loving Info Island because they are tied of “sex and gambling”. And she’s completely right, the online pornography and gambling business does lead the way in innovative developments and Second Life isn’t an acceptation. Later in the evening I joined the SL folks (including Matt Gullet) for dinner and enjoyed lively conversation. I’m truly impressed by what the SL Info Island folks are building in both a 3D universe and partnerships with other organizations with SL.

  • Last but not least I joined in the audience for Kathyrn Deiss and Matt Gullet’s talk on developing Synergy between IT & Library Cultures and enjoyed their open discussion on building building better services. Matt put up a great slide about definitions that distinguished the differences of how different cultures define and look at their user-base. User, Patron, Customer, Public. I’ll need to get definitions again, but it was excellent point that rung home.

Wow! What a lot to pack into one day… and to top that off, I also got to meet the coordinators and presenters who will be contributing to the 5 Weeks to a Social Library program early next year. This program sounds like it’s going a be a great opportunity for libraries all over the county, since all the training materials (podcasts, screencasts) from the program will be archived and available for free.

Anyway it was long day, but a very enjoyable one and the best surprise the entire was this little find in my RSS feeds (after just giving a talk this morning about Learning 2.0 and how other libraries could use the site and duplicate it) …

The Missouri River Regional Library is doing their own Learning Library 2.0 -- 29 things, 11 weeks … Awesome! Thanks MRRL for making my day

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23 Things on 43 Things

Ok …it’s confession time. I hate to admit this, but I had almost completely forgotten that I set up the list of Learning 2.0 23 Things on the 43 Things website way back in June so that if there were folks that stumbled across from outside the PLCMC system, they would also have some type of tool to track their progress with.

Since the beginning I have been following all along on the blogs of 2 dozen or so people who did sent me an email and ask to have their blog added to list. But with 352 PLCMC blogs (about 200 seem active on any given week) on the participant list, the 43 Things list just kinda drop off my radar IYKWIM. So when I noticed an a lot of hits on the L2 site coming from 43 Things, my memory was jogged. :)

Imagine my surprise to see so much action on the 43 Things website (compete with lots of great feedback and comments about the exercises and the program) -- and it’s comments like these that really make me smile ...

And since it’s seems that I have been asked this at least a dozen times this past week, I’ll reiterate it here...

No, there are no plans to take the Learning 2.0 site & it’s 23 learning discovery exercises down. It will remain up there as long as Blogger keeps it and with luck it may even morph into more learning opportunities in the near future. :)

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Fab Friday Salute

As the Learning 2.0 program enters the 7th inning stretch over here at PLCMC, there are lots of neat and inspiring stories I hope to share once I finally recap this adventure for other libraries out there who may be looking duplicate it. And among these inspirations is fellow staff member Rosemary Lands.

Rosemary is a genealogy specialist in our North Carolina Room and as I learned at last week's All Staff Day, she has put in over 35 years of service with PLCMC making her one of the most senior (in years of service only :) ) librarians on our staff. I have always known that Rosemary was an exceptional historical researcher and after Learning 2.0 I also now know that she is an early technology adapter and life long learner as well.

Rosemary, I can't tell you how impressed I've been with with your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to just explore and learn - even after 35 years in the system :). And as I said a member of Administration last week ... "Whoever hired Rosemary Lands hired a great one!!" ... and I really meant it!

Thanks Rosemary for inspiring me. You truly set a the standard in my mind of what a lifelong learning librarian is - Thanks! :)

FYI: Rosemary's blog is Read On Carolina.

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As seen on Craig's List ...

As seen on Craig's List ... You wouldn't hire a librarian to build a skyscraper now would you?

Click for larger image

On management & leadership (Part 2)

Like most people I've often thought that Donald Trump needed to get a new stylist, but I've never faulted him for his approach to management & leadership. Here's a great slide I discovered via Checking out and checking in ...

focus on energizing people
Originally uploaded by circulating.

Post #1 on the M vs L (or Control vs Power)

And on a side note, I thought I'd share my personal favorite quote about leadership.

"A leader brings out the best in themselves by bringing out the best in others." -HBlowers

Yup, I wrote this myself nearly 20 years ago when I started my first job as a hotel rooms manager for Hyatt. I think it's funny how I've kept this thought rumbling around in my brain for so long... and yes, in case you're wondering, I'll be the first to admit that even on my good days I still find myself striving to achieve this "best."


Tech Express redux ...

I know I’ve said this before, but those folks at the SC State Library really have it going on. Today I had pleasure to meet with their talented team of staff developers/trainers to help flesh out plans for their upcoming Tech Tracks series which is a follow-up to the great Tech Express program they pulled off in September. If you’re a SC public library staff member, you definitely need to take advantage of these workshop offerings that will include RSS/Blogging, Tagging, Social Software, IM and Podcasting. So come on ... what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Anyway, as an added bonus to my trip, I also learned that local PBS station (that taped the Tech Express event) has also posted the video that they captured of Stephen Abrams, Jenny Levine & Michael Stephen’s talks on the web – very cool! So if you missed hearing them speak the first time around, you can view it here for free!

PS: Thanks Kathy, Debra, Felicia, Julie, Amanda & Shea for a lively day of collaboration & conversation. I'm sure your Tech Tracks series will be a huge success! :)


Playing Santa Claus ...

Yeah! The first 117 MP3 players were just sent out and delivered to staff who have already completed Learning 2.0! And there's still more to give away and 18 days left!

Yup! It's a good day!!! I love playing Santa Claus. :)

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Fab Friday Salute

PLCMC 2006 Staff Day
Originally uploaded by Jessmage.
This week's salute is actually a few days late following Monday's All Staff Day at ImaginOn. If you missed the event (and there were few staff that did) there were several PLCMC photographers catching the action. Among the day's highlights was the Throw-a-pie-at-your-favorite-admistrator fundraiser for United Way with Chuck Mallas, Carol Myers & Susan Harden stepping up to the plastic mat. All in all it was great day and I think the three raised over $600 -- all for a good cause.

So with thanks I salute Chuck, Carol & Susan for stepping up to the plate plastic on this one. I for one was happy to add my "match" to the funds raised and couldn't help but think that three of you wore whipping cream well. :)


Libraries - Place & Trading Spaces

Peter Bromberg at Library Garden on the Library as Place...

"Libraries are transformative places. By our very nature we offer people a “third place” (not home, not work) where they can come to explore, imagine, think, learn, play, and reflect. Our function as a “third place” has never been more important to our continued health and relevance. If libraries are to survive and thrive we must redouble our efforts and refocus our energies to ensure that we are not only “third places" but destinations of choice."

A short a good read which offers "six things you can do today to enhance your library's status as a true "third place" in your community."

Also of interest and cited by Peter, South Jersey Regional Library's Trading Spaces: Reinventing the Library Environment


Teen Second Life Library Announced!!

It feels like this announcement has been in the works for months, so it's wonderful to be able to actually share it ...

PLCMC partners with Alliance Library system to open cultural/creative space in virtual world

Charlotte, NC - Oct. 6, 2006 - The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) and the Alliance Library System are pleased to announce a partnership to collaborate on the “Eye4You Alliance,” an island in Teen Second Life that will offer virtual library services to teens.

Teen Second Life is a 3-D, international gathering place on the Internet where teens 13-17 can make friends, play, learn and create. Teens create a digital version of themselves, called an avatar, that they use to travel around the “virtual world,” meet new people and participate in a variety of activities.

The goal of “Eye4You Alliance” is to create an interactive and informative space for young adults within the Teen Second Life virtual world and to collaborate with other educators who serve youth and are already present in Teen Second Life and in real life.

Read the full press release at

For more information, contact Teen Second Life Project Leaders Matt Gullett, mgullett (at) or Kelly Czarnecki, kczarnecki (at)

Thanks Matt & Kelly for leading this effort for our system and to Lori Bell and the Alliance Library System for partnering and supporting us. It's truly exciting to be invloved in such an exciting project.

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Fab Friday Salute

Today’s Fab Friday has a personal twist that started this summer with my daughter’s 2nd grade school supply list. The list was posted on the school website in June with the normal stuff – white glue, pencils, pink erasers & crayons – but what stopped me short was the second to last mandatory item which read (I kid NOT)... “ 1 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card in the child’s name.”

Fast forward many weeks and two school bulletins later to last weeks principal’s message that announced that St. Patrick's had met its goal in the library card campaign -- 100% participation!

There’s one special individual that especially deserves this Fab Friday Salute for taking an idea (putting a library card in the hands of every kindergartener to 5th grader) and making it a reality. Hat’s off to Nancy Synder, children's Manager at Morrison Regional for leading the charge and making the difference. Given the huge number of children in both the CMS system and private schools in our area this effort is nothing short of monumental… but she did it!!!!! It's been all over the news for the past week and half and it's easy to see that So Much to See, So Much to do @ Library is making a huge impact!!!

Thanks Nancy & team for such a great idea!! And after seeing all the cards and applications pilled high in that news story video, I think I also need to extend a salute to all the circulation staff too that are entering them. :)

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Info Island Grand Opening in SL

On my calendar...

"The Alliance Library System and the Second Life Library/Info Island collaborative group of librarians are pleased to announce the grand opening and a host of activities planned for Second Life residents scheduled October 12-14, 2007. All events will be held in Second Life and are free to residents."

Get the full scoop here.

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It's a new record... that's the total for the number of Learning 2.0 partipcants posts created in the last 24 hours. Can you tell Staff Day (The early target deadline. However staff still have the 31st to earn the incentive) is only five days way? Yes, my eyes are exhausted, but I'm pleased to report that nearly 50 staff members have already earned that elusive MP3 player. :)

Final participant thoughts and evaluations are being tagged in And incase you're wondering would a program like this fly in your branch/system, feel free to take a look at what staff members are saying. Most of the reviews are surprising even me -- and yes, it's Very Pleasantly!!

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It's up to us!!

It rattles one to the core to read opinion pieces like this
"Libraries are inefficient ... Libraries are limited…. Libraries are obsolete…"

But unfortunately I think there are a lot folks in our communities with this same misconception. And in some cases they may be right -- but personally I'm doing my best to not have it happen in my community. :)

So how do we counter this attitude? How do we proceed? How do we educate? And how do we meet the changes in our community's needs?

Michael Stephens drafts a response with 10 great points to ponder, but the most important one is the last … #10 It's up to us!
"All of these things, user-centered as they may be, depend on us – Librarians (& staff professionals) -- to advocate for funding, to market ourselves and our services, to prove value, to build bridges, to bring community together, to innovate, to change, to hold our core values close yet not be afraid to break down barriers. It’s up to us."

Read the full post … it’s well said!


30 days of DOPA Positive Uses for Social Networks

YALSA is publishing 30 days worth of Positive Uses of Social Networking to help educate library staff and users in general what may be at jeapordy if DOPA legislation passes. The first two days are out …

Subscribe to the RSS feed and get your daily dose of what’s at stake.
What a great idea!

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5 Weeks to a Social Library

Wow! The preliminary line up of presentations and topics are up for the Feburary offering of 5 Weeks to a Social Library. I'm thrilled to be presenting among the exceptional speaker/presenter line-up, but wanted to make you're aware of an even bigger announcement ... applications for participating in this exciting program are also open.

You can read about the time commitment and requirements over at the 5 Weeks site. And having been a participant in ALA BootCamp project earlier this year, this offering just really excites me. Of course, I won't be throwing my name into the participant pot, but if you're thinking that this sounds even a little bit exciting, then I highly encourage you to apply.

Five Weeks to a Social Library will take place between February 12 and March 17, 2007 and will be limited to forty participants. However, course content will be freely viewable to interested parties and all live Webcasts will be archived for later viewing.

We are currently accepting applications for participants in the course. The application process is designed to ensure that the course will benefit those librarians who have the most to gain from learning about social software and who would not otherwise have access to conferences or continuing education. If you are interested in learning how to use and implement social software tools at your library, please consider applying for the course.

PS: I'm also thrilled that Kelly Czarnecki and Matt Gullet from PLCMC will also be presenting. Both Kelly and Matt are doing some fabulous stuff here that is definitely worth sharing.

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23rd Thing posted!!!

It's Sunday AM and I just finished posting the last exercise for Learning 2.0 - Yippee!!! [insert happy dance here]. So to celebrate, I thought I'd post a slide show of some my favorite L2 images created by the staff members participating in the program.

A number of participants have already blogged their final thoughts about the program and if early returns (Note: There's still a month to go in the program) are any indication, then I'd say all this work I've done in creating this program has more than definitely been worth it.

OK 9:31 am - last post added. It's now time to grab a shower. :)