The Internet 2020

Lee Ranie, Director of the Pew & Internet Life Project, sent me an email (like I assume many people were copied on) yesterday providing a heads up about the Pew latest report on the Future of Internet III. I've only taken a my first cursory glance over the summary and predictions, but what I really thought-provoking are some of the comments shared by leading experts and futurists...

"Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. The Net will wear away institutions that have forgotten how to sound human."

"The world will get a nervous system, and that is a big deal."

"New methods of securing the true from the false will emerge. The source will become more important than the message."
"The internet is like graffiti, only it can be targeted to the right niche."

"Transportation will be refined through massive substitution of communication. The current flight to cities will be reversed."

"The greatest changes will occur in the arena of trust and human relations."

Here's a high level summary of the predictions and impact:

  • Some 77% said the mobile computing device (the smartphone) with more significant computing power will be 2020's primary global Internet-connection platform.
  • 64% favored the idea that 2020 user interfaces will offer advanced touch, talk and typing options and some added a fourth "T" - think.
  • Nearly four out of five respondents (78%) said the original Internet architecture will not be completely replaced by a next-generation 'net by 2020.
  • Three out of five respondents (60%) disagreed with the idea that legislatures, courts, the technology industry, and media companies will exercise effective intellectual property control by 2020.
  • A majority—56%—agreed that in 2020 "few lines (will) divide professional from personal time, and that's OK."
  • 56% said while Web 2.0 is bringing some people closer, social tolerance will not be heightened by our new connections
  • 45% agreed and 44% disagreed with the notion that the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the Internet will heighten individual integrity and forgiveness.
  • More than half (55%) agreed that many lives will be touched in 2020 by virtual worlds, mirror worlds, and augmented reality, while 45% disagreed or did not answer the question.

Oh, and if you have a prediction yourself to add, there's even a form for you to participate.

It's got me thinking ... how about you?


Moving from more to best

“Doing more with less” is a mantra that many libraries have learned to live (and some even flourish) by. But with this current financial crisis it may take more than “more” to carry us through ...


Thanks Jenn Hess for inspiring me with this twitter thought. I totally agree that creativity will be a huge asset during this coming year. How can we do “best” for less? You've got my head spinning around this thought as well.


My 24th & final for the year

My final talk for this year was yesterday and it couldn't have been a better venue or audience. The staff at Boulder Public Library seriously rock and in touring their Main library and community, it was easy to see why Tony Tallent jumped at the opportunity to become BPL's Library & Arts Director.

For me this last talk of the year was a bit of self-imposed stretching assignment. I wanted to do something for Tony's new staff that was not only playful and fun and but also steered clear of the topics of social media and technology trends -- my typical presentation forte. I think I succeeded in doing both, but I'm always open for suggestions for improvement, Here are my slides:

From a quick recap of my calendar, it looks like I did 24 different talks this year and in all of these, it looks like I only used one slide deck twice. That's a lot of talks ... and a lot of stretching.

Thanks Tony & BPL for a awesome day of PLAY!


CML Learn & Play Finale !!!

When Joy told me where we were tracking with the participant and completion rates for Learn & Play earlier this week, I was totally impressed. This morning, the drawings were held for those who finished in time for a chance at the added incentives, but in my book all 254 staff members who completed their 23 things learning journey are winners!

Here's the video of the final drawing with Pat Losinksi and the Learn & Play team. Getting to sit on the sidelines this time around and watch the enthusiasm and energy that the team contributed to this effort was a pure joy! They really brought new energy and a brilliant twist to the program.

Anyway, here's the video of the prize drawings for L&P.

Hats off to everyone who joined in this learning journey. And from what I understand there may still be a bit more in store for those who are still interested in learning more. So, hold on to your blog and keep watching Learn & Play.

PS: Here's the final stats: 494 staff blog created = 63%, 254 completed = 51.4% - w00t!!

I'm IMPRESSED, aren't' you?

10 Random Things (& my 10 things from a year ago)

A few weeks ago, I eluded in my Learn & Play video that I had put forth a challenge for CML employees (via the APLE employee newsletter) to share ten random things about themselves. Since that time, I've had several requests to reprint them. So for those that are curious, here they are:


For those who don't me yet, I'm Helene Blowers and the newest member of your executive leadership team. Having just been in Columbus now 10 months I'm still learning tons about the area, the library and all the incredible people I'm working with – that's you!

As many of you are already aware, I'm the creator of the original online learning program that CML's Learn & Play is base upon and blog at So in trying to figure out what I could share with you through the APLE newsletter, that you might not know about me, I thought I'd just try and share ten random things that you won't find elsewhere. :)

  1. I have weakness for white chocolate covered pretzels. There's something about salty and sweet together.
  2. In high school I excelled in swimming, competing on numerous teams and even swimming at the state level. Now I rarely swim … except in paperwork and housework. I'm sure many of you can relate.
  3. As a pre-teen I had crushes on David Cassidy, Scott Biao & the Bay City Rollers. I know this dates me, but oh, well…
  4. I enjoy going to concerts. The best concert I have ever attended has to be Joe Cocker. The second best is REM @ the Hamersmith Odion, London -back when Michael Stipe actually had hair. :)
  5. I've had the same green ribbon attached to my key ring for over twenty years. It's served me well. I've never lost my keys.
  6. People who treat "walking sidewalks" in busy airports like "parking lots" (and don't know how to get off to the side) are one of my few pet peeves.
  7. For some reason I'm good at remembering trivial numbers. The grocery clerks are constantly amazed by my ability to recite the barcode off the dog's 20 lb bag of food without looking – 1780042330 :)
  8. Although I hitch hiked all over England and southern Ireland during my younger days, it's not something I would do today. Nor would I encourage my daughters to do when they get older. Ah, the wisdom of age ...
  9. I've had minor brushes with fame with Barry Manilow, John Cougar Meloncamp, Patti Smyth, Jessie Helms and Lauren Becall. But my favorite bwf story has to be Jon BonJovi. Ask me some time and I'll tell you about it.
  10. I love to read with my daughters Kathryn and Jessica. We've plowed through the Magic Tree House series, Little House on the Prairie and are currently working on Prince Caspian (Naria series) and the Magic Rainbow fairy books. At 7 and 9 they are fascinated with fairies.

How's that for 10 random facts. If you're interested in the normal stuff about me, please feel free to check out

Oh, and I have one last thing. I'd like to give a huge shout out to all you that are participating in Learn & Play. I'm really enjoying watching all the participation and getting to know so many of you better through your blogs. Hey, here's thought ... how about a bonus L& P "thing"? We could call it "10 Random Things." Why not blog ten random things about you and twitter me the link (my twitter ID is hblowers) and that way I ( & others) could also get to know you better. :)


PS: Today is officially my one year anniversary. And as follow-up to this, here's the post I did after my first week titled 10 things I learned during my first week @ CML ( does anyone notice a pattern here?)

It's been an extremely fast year!


Happy Birthday Discovery Place!

My first year anniversary with CML is quickly approaching this week ( my how time goes by fast). But as I’ve learned quickly in my short 52 weeks here, my short-timer status is nothing compared to the tenure of Discovery Place - the work-horse application of the library system.

CML I believe may be the last large urban library system in the country to still run their own home-grown ILS (yes, it’s totally true) and this past week Discovery Place celebrated a major milestone - it’s 20 birthday.

Of course, there's been lots of changes and upgrades to the system since it was launched Thanksgiving weekend in 1988 and with all the exciting upgrades that the DP (Discovery Place) team is working on we're hopeful that we can make this backbone application even more valuable.

Anyway, I have feeling there's a lot of good things ahead for both me and DP. I'm still in awe that it's been a year for me already... and am mildly hopeful I'll also make it here at CML to celebrate my 20th :)

Thing 23: [insert happy dance]

Like many Learn & Play participants, I’m doing a happy dance right now realizing that I actually made it through all 23 things in the allotted time. I know that there are many CML staff out there still doing the program, so I want to lend my social media support (hmm… could this be a new meaning to the acronym “sms”) to all those pushing to the finish line these 48 hours.

For me the Learn & Play program has really be amazing to watch. As many of you already know, this discovery program was based upon a program idea that I launched nearly two years ago for another library system. But as look back on this experience with CML (this time both a participant and staff support cheerleader) I can honestly say that Team CML really turned up the volume. From day 1, Learn & play – ”I say LEARN, you say_____”the amazing team ( remember this video) behind this creative effort has launched themselves 100% into this effort. And for those of you participating in the program (hey, including me) you’ve responded with 200% !

My favorite part of Learn & Play definitely has to be the learning transformation that I’ve seen and watched from staff. Not only are you guys having fun, but I’ve heard about so amazing stories about how staff have reached customer in new ways as a result of being familiar with these tools and communication channels. Reference questions have been answered via twitter and even books have been reserved for customers via these new channels. In essence the program has not only been fun for staff and given many of you new tools, but already even these first few weeks, some of you have increased our libraries customer touch points through your efforts.

Tied for my favorite part of Learn & Play is also the videos. Gerald 2.0 & Library4Joy, you two seriously rawk! These videos capturing the experiences of our the staff participants are in fact the very best testimonials of how this discovery learning program has helped and united staff. In my own L&P video installment, I truly meant when I said that the worse part of Learn & Play is that it’s going to be over soon and after hearing from several staff who also are expressing the same, let me just say to the entire CML team ( yes, that means you, all 700+ employees) … let’s work together to ensure that our learning together never stops.

Congrats to all on completing this journey!

Image: licensed by derekrogerson under CC.

Thing 22: MOLDI (aka downloadable stuff)

I have to agree with the consensus out there that MOLDI (Mid-Ohio Library Digital Initiative) is perhaps one of the worse sounding acronyms ever. However, that being said, the content from the service more than makes up for a the sour-sounding name.

For my “moldi” experience, I chose to checkout one of the eFlicks. Of the children’s eflicks available, I learned that “Animalland“ was the most popular title downloaded from the current 140 titles available for young minds. The video come in 9 parts and is a total of an hour and nine minutes in length.

I’m downloading it right now to see what the quality is, but I'm anticipating that it is good. Will follow-up with my Siskel & Ebert soon. :)

Thing 21: Podcasts

Like a lot of CML employees right now, I’m in the middle of the last dash to get my 23 things completed by Wednesday for Learn & Play. When it comes to podcasting, I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve done of these. Back in 2006 when I first created the Learning 2.0 program, I created a podcast for each of things. They are still accessible on my Odeo channel, which is the free podcast hosting site I choose to work with. Most of my podcasts were created using Audacity, another free audio file editing program and then uploaded to Odeo.

Here’s the last podcast I did for the original Learning 2.0 and I must say that the enthusiasm I had at the time for my former POW, is two fold this time around as I see and hear about all the excitement from staff who have completed Learn & Play.

My original podcast done for thing 23:

Listen to this podcast [1:17]-->powered by ODEO

Great job CML!!!

PS: Am wondering if any of you notice a change in my accent at all since I relocated from south? If I have, I not able to notice is myself.