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The Original 23 Things . . . Irrelevant training?

Update: See Emily’s clarification in the comments. Two things happend today – a lot of people noted how 23 things helped them, I helped remind popele that 23 things can still work as a model and I found out I need my vacation to return my sense of humour. Mea culpa.

So, here’s a recent comic from PoesyGalore (Emily) of Shelf Check asserting that only 2 or 3 of the original 23 Things are still relevant . . .

Shelf Check 420

This strip appeared, then disappeared, and reappeared. It’s now back.

I usually love Emily’s strip a lot so I got concerned that maybe I was not remembering 23 Things well. So, I went to check on the original 23. Here they are:

1. Read a blog posting & find out about the program.
2. Discover a few pointers from lifelong learners and learn how to nurture your own learning process.
3. Set up your own blog and add your first post to track your progress.
4. Register your blog on the site to begin your Learn & Play journey.
5. Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.
6. Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups and third-party sites
7. Create a blog post about anything technology-related that interests you this week.
8. Learn about RSS feeds and setup your own Bloglines or Google Reader RSS account
9. Locate a few useful library related blogs and/or news feeds using a blog search engine.
10. Play around with an online image generator and create some library marketing fun.
11. Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.
12. Explore Twitter and post some tweets.
13. Learn about tagging and discover (a social bookmaking site).
14. Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries, and blog your thoughts.
15. Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them.
16. Add an entry to the wiki sandbox.
17. Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools.
18. Explore any site from the Web 2.0 awards list, play with it, and write a blog post about your findings.
19. Explore CML’s own Tool Box of great Web 2.0 tools.
20. Discover YouTube and a few other sites that allow users to upload and share videos.
21. Discover some useful search tools for locating podcasts.
22. Take a look at the titles available on MOLDI and learn how to download audiobooks.
23. Summarize your thoughts about this

So, in the process potentially all library staff would have all gotten to the same place with new basic skills (remember that this was almost 5 years ago – a long time in internet years) in about 9 weeks and be able to share using these tools:

1. Blogging
2. Blog Search Engines
3. Graphics and Picture tools (Flickr)
4. Image search
5. RSS Feeds
6. LibraryThing
7. Twitter
8. Tagging
9. Web 2.0 opportunities
10. Wikis
11. Cloud Apps (Zoho, Google Apps)
12. Streaming Media (YouTube)
13. Podcast search tools
14. Downloading audiobooks
15. New Learning methods
16. Group collaboration tools

Many updated versions of 23 Things (some are 21 or 29 or whatever) include others like Facebook or MySpace but these above are the originals.

As the strip asks, “Which are the 2 or 3 that are still relevant to libraries? Are there actually any on the list that are irrelevant to libraries?” I think none and I think that Helene Blowers (formerly with Charlotte & Mecklenberg Library and now with Columbus Metropolitan Library) was prescient in her choices from the plethora of so-called Web 2.0 tools available at that time to build training programs around.

Since the program was launched it has spread virally (and for free) around the world to include many languages, many countries, all types of libraries and tens of thousands of participants. Research on the effectiveness of the program from both the employers’ and learners’ points of view show that it was and remains a succcessful method to bring library teams up-to-speed quickly and cost-effectively.

Did people waste their time learning Web 2.0 stuff? I think not. I worry about libraries, library folk and information pros that don’t keep up enough. 23 Things is one way to address the problem of large scale training for professionals who choose to invest their time in their own development.

I’m on vacation for the next two weeks but I thought I had to blog this defence of the libraries, library associations, librraians and library staff who engaged, voluntarily, in learning new things. I guess I am thin skinned and I will take the next two weeks to get a little tougher.


Posted on: July 19, 2010, 9:49 am Category: Uncategorized