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Thursday 29 March 2007

Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks

Beverly Hanly

03.29.07 | 2:00 AM

When the IT director at North Carolina's Charlotte & Mecklenburg County public library began training staff in the latest web technologies, she lured reluctant participants with bribes -- a free MP3 player and the chance to win a laptop.

Six months later, the program they developed is the real prize. Learning 2.0, developed by public services technology director Helene Blowers, has become a surprise grassroots hit, available for free on the web and adopted by dozens of other libraries around the globe.

"The last thing we want is for people to come into our libraries and ask about Flickr or Second Life and be met with a blank look," said Christine MacKensie, director of the Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Melbourne, Australia, which just finished a four-month version of Learning 2.0. "And they certainly won't now."


"E's" --

  • exposing staff to new tools,
  • encouraging play,
  • empowering individuals,
  • expanding the knowledge toolbox,
  • eliminating fear


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