Tuesday, April 1, 2008

CML and Helene Blowers (s544 #10)

I recently made a trip to Columbus, Ohio to visit with Helene Blowers.(I'm the ham with the cheesy smile on the left, she's the one humoring me on the right.) The manager of the ACPL's IT department (Sean Robinson) really respects Helene and her philosophies regarding a library's relationship with its community and the form that relationship takes. We were given a tour of the CML's opperations Center and had a chance to chat with her team of smart, talented library professionals. Sean interviewed Helene for a podcast and I was struck by several points she made.

But first, a little backstory. Helene is Director of Digital Strategy for the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She is the creator of Learning 2.0 which is series of self propeled learning modules based loosely around free web-based social networking tools like Flickr, Google, Delicious etc.

The beautiful thing about Helene's strategy is that the benefit is way bigger than the sum of its parts. Getting library employees to label themselves life long learners creates a tech friendly state of mind that is much more important than being able to post pictures on the internet for the world to see. These small steps gang together to make technology less scary or silly to a population that might be reluctant to align themselves with something called "Druple" or "Twitter", but might be less threatened by the surge of technology they will be expected to be familiar with. Anyway I had a lovely time in Columbus and you can see pictures of my visit here.


Mary Alice Ball said...

Wow, what a lucky person you are. I am a big fan of Helene Blowers and all that she has done with Learning 2.0.

Kay said...

You can come and listen to her speak in the Theater of the Downtown Library. 11 am, everyone is invited.