For those that are curious:
I've long contended that I have Sheri R (a high school classmate) to thank for my start in libraries, who at the age of 16 decided it was more glamorous to butter popcorn and serve Laffy-Taffy at the local cinemaplex then to continue to work as a page for minimum wage at the local public library.
Yes, during my high school years I shelved my share of non-fiction (including sewing patterns) and retrieved many burlap sacks full of books from the external book drop and lugged them up Carnegie's sandstone steps. My current position as Community Manager for WorldShare Applications for OCLC is fortunately both a bit more rewarding and a lot more challenging.
Before my recent move to OCLC, I worked nearly 20 years serving in various technology leadership roles for public libraries including five years as Director of Digital Strategy for the Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH) and 13 years with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (NC) where I had the privilege to build an launch several groundbreaking digital library services including StoryPlace, BookHive and Readersclub. During college I also honed my researching and processing skills with a 2 year workstudy in Interlibrary Loan. While working outside of libraries, I've also earned a living as a corporate trainer, system's implementation coordinator, courseware developer, community college instructor and hotel manager. -- Yup! my career looks like it has bounced all over, but if you connect the dots the progression makes perfect sense :).
When I'm not working professionally to innovative library services and help library's stay relevant in out ever-shifting, technology-driven culture , I enjoy my 'first' career as mom to two daughters (ages 11 & 13). They keep me young and on most days, on my toes.
Psst... if you're looking for my "official bio" (aka - the one that most people ask for), please scroll down :)
KEYNOTE PRESENTER & CONSULTANT:
|Keynote UGame ULearn (Delft, Netherlands)|
- Libraries & Learning 2.0, Keynote, Public Libraries conference of New South Wales, Australia
- Library 2.0: Transforming the Library through the Web, American Counsulate Tour, Germany
- Blowing Bubbles: A New Look at Creating Customer Experiences, Boulder Public Library Staff Day, CO
- From Players to Guides: Learning Strategies for a 2.0 World, Illinois Computing Educators conference
- Innovation Starts with "I", Innovative Environments conference, Columbus, OH
For an updated list of my most recent keynotes and talks, please review Presentations on my blog.
In addition to speaking, I have also provided consulting and training services to libraries and non-profit organizations. Consulting experience has involved work for the Global Libraries program ( Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program), InfoPeople, IREX & numerous public libraries. If you have a project that might that I might be able to lend my skill set to, please contact me.
Creator and developer of Learning 2.0: 23 Things, the original online discovery program that has been duplicated by over 700 libraries, schools and non-profit organizations all over the world.
More information: About & Program Notes
23 Things in the Press:
- Wired, Public Library Geek Takes Web 2.0 to the Stacks
- School Library Journal, Ten Tips about 23 Things
- Library Journal, Steal This Idea
- ALA TechSource, Steal This Idea: Learning 2.0 at PLCMC
- Computers in libraries, The C's of Our Sea Change: Plans for Training Staff, from Core Competencies to LEARNING 2.0
AUTHOR & COLUMNIST:
Weaving a Library Web: A Guide to Developing Children's Web Sites
ALA Editions 2004
H. Blowers & R. Bryan
Computers in Libraries magazine - Helene is a regular contributor to CIL magazine and writes a column, The Digital Strategist (Jan 2012 - present)
Digitale Biblioteek (Netherlands publication), The Next Thing column, August 2009 - Dec 2010
The "OTHER BIO" : ( AKA The one that most people ask for)
Helene Blowers Bio:
In 2007, Helene was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal as one of the 50 most influential people shaping the future of libraries. The discovery learning program, Learning 2.0: 23 Things, that she created while serving as Technology Director for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (NC) has launched a world-wide 2.0 learning sensation and has been replicated by over 700 organizations in 15 countries.
With nearly 15 years of experience developing innovative web sites and technology services for public libraries, Helene currently practices her passion for developing innovative library services as the Community Manager for OCLC's WorldShare Applications. She is the co-authored of the book Weaving a Library Web: A Guide to Developing Children's Websites and the recipient of the 2008 LITA Hi-Tech Award for her many contributions to library and information technology. As a frequent speaker on emerging technologies, innovation and leadership, Helene is well known for her energy and passion about learning and libraries. She holds a degree in Organizational Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is a certified project management trainer, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and blogging at HeleneBlowers.com