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Core Competencies & Learning 2.0

Apr - 18 - 2007
Nicole C. Engard

Before even starting her talk, Helene Blowers posted her presentation information on her blog – check it out here.

Helene walked about the room using her new presentation remote (the same one I have) and talked to us about core competencies and learning 2.0 at her library. She told us a story of librarians in her library who would put an out of order sign on the printers if they were ever out of ink. When she asked why, people would say that it wasn’t their job – it was the IT staff’s job. That means that until IT gets into the library the patrons have to go without printing. By telling staff that they can’t do things like change ink, we’re telling them that technology is someone else’s responsibility -do we really want that? She didn’t so at her library they created some core competencies.

All librarians should know how to do some basic things such as saving documents, printing, entering timesheets online and basic troubleshooting. After that Helene’s library set up three more core levels. See all of the levels here. Other tools for coming up with core competencies can be found on Web Junction or in the newest Library Technology Report.

I like Helene’s definition of core competencies. Core competencies are developed to support changes that have already happened within our daily work lives. To address the future they decided to do Learning 2.0. This way they could make people familiar with the tools that are coming out now.

Before developing Learning 2.0, Helene tried tech talks – short talks on specific technologies. With these talks, she only reached 64 out of 540 employees and was only able to cover 2 topics – at that rate it would take 10.5 years to teach everyone everything she wanted.

Instead she started Learning 2.0 which was a 10 week program that introduced staff to 23 technologies – it was not a training program, it was a learning program and encouraged the staff to experiment with 2.0 tools. At the end of her program – 356 staff members had started a blog – a number that would have taken a lot longer than 10 weeks to achieve using the old way.

Towards the end, Helene asked us how many of us were encouraged to play at work – not many hands were raised!! Hopefully after this talk, people will go back to their libraries with ideas for change in the way technologies are taught!

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