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23 Things and Core Competencies

Page history last edited by Beth Duttlinger 6 years, 5 months ago

Inspiration of Technology Training Wheels

Technology Training Wheels (TTW) is a web-based pathfinder that was created by the Alliance Library System consulting staff in 2009.  It was inspired by requests from our member libraries for more training on Web 2.0 technologies.  TTW was modeled after 23 Things and it includes pathfinders on a variety of topics such as blogs, wikis, and Internet browsers.  Our adaptations to the 23 Things model better suits our member libraries needs.  I've continued to update the modules and I hope you still find these resources helpful. 


Core competencies identify the knowledge and skills library employees need to provide superior services.  Learning 2.0 and 23 Things originated in the the development of continuing education for technology competencies.   In 2003, the State Library of North Carolina had just completed a statewide project to identify technology competencies and was promoting the development of competencies for libraries.  The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) reorganized their ITS support structure by following these guidelines and established their own as a foundation for staff training.  23 Things resulted from the need to provide assistance and direction to their staff in order to keep up with new and emerging technology.  We've expanded these technology competencies to include the core competencies needed by library staff and created our own guidelines to assist libraries in the Alliance Library System.


23 Things

23 Things was created in 2006 by Helene Blowers who at that time as the Public Services Technology Director for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC). She started a program called Learning 2.0 which is an online self-discovery program that encouraged library employees to dive into new technologies, specifically Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.)and rewarded them for completing 23 Things(which are exercises participants completed on their own). Over the course of 9 weeks, employees of the PLCMC were able to participate and if they completed all 23 things, received a MP3 player.  As a result of the popularity of 23 Things, PLCMC has made the site available for other libraries to model or use the wiki.  The program was built "on the idea that participants learn best when they're engaged in their own learning and are motivated to learn" (Blowers, H., & Reed, L. (February 2007). "The C's of Our Sea Change: Plans for Training Staff, from Core Competencies to Learning 2.0." Computers in Libraries. 27(2), 10-15).  It's based on an article written by Stephen Abram for Information Outlook, February 2005 called "43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year ".  


The ALS consultants created Technology Training Wheels to better suit our member libraries needs, but 23 Things plays a strong role in the background and development of TTW.


Additional 23 Things Links 




23 Things Summit on WebJunction


Archive and related resources for the 23 Things Summit, presented on March 3, 2009.  Lots of links including an archive of the presentation in Wimba.

Helene Blowers' Learning 2.0 bookmarks


Helene Blowers has linked in delicious.com to over 400 libraries who have started a Learning 2.0 projects

Nebraska Learns 2.0


Nebraska's statewide 23Things program 

Minnesota's 23Things on a Stick


Minnesota's statewide 23Things program--the second round of the program is More Things on a Stick


Core and Technology Competencies 

Core competencies are the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes that contribute to an individual's success in a particular position.  With the advent of Web 2.0, libraries found that they needed to update competencies to include current and emerging technologies.  Competencies can assist supervisors with the identification of areas where training is needed and help staff adjust to the rapid changes in technology.


Additional Core and Technology Competencies Links 

Links Addresses Notes
Core Competencies PowerPoint Presentation Core Competencies June 2009.ppt

This is a PowerPoint Presentation given at Quincy Public Library on June 10, 2009

Tech Training FREE for IL library staff via WebJunction IL www.webjunction.org/find-training.html 

Thanks to the generosity of the Illinois State Library, there is free continuing education for Illinois library staff who are registered users of WebJunction Illinois.  This section defines a core of technology competency that all staff need in order to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the organization, whether they are behind the scenes or interacting with the public.

Technology Competencies for Libraries in North Carolina


These competencies were created by the NC State Library and are intended to serve as a resource for libraries and systems in NC. 

6 Evaluation Factors for Library Staff 6 Evaluation Factors for Library Staff.pdf  Examples of broad competencies used for evaluation purposes

WebJunction Competencies documents


Links to competency collections that can be used as a starting point for your library's competency-based efforts.  Includes a link to PLCMC's.

Lillie M. Evans Library's Core Competencies Core Competencies 2011.pdf An example of Core Competencies at the Lillie M. Evans Library District in Princeville, IL.  Document is currently under revision 9/17



Web 2.0 defined:

·       Web 2.0 is the popular term for the second generation of Internet technology and applications that focus on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online.

·       Web 2.0 basically refers to the transition from static HTML web pages to a web that emphasizes open communication and content sharing. 

·       Examples of Web 2.0 include blogs, wikis, RSS, and collaborative tagging. 

·       Tim O'Reilly is generally credited with inventing the term, following a conference dealing with next-generation Web concepts and issues held by O'Reilly Media and MediaLive International in 2004.

·       Many people are aware of the social aspect of Web 2.0 but more organizations are discovering the benefits of adapting Web 2.0 technologies.





YouTube - The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version) www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g

  Excellent video by Mike Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Kansas State University, about Web 2.0 and its implications.

What is the Web 2.0? 


Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc. and an activist for open standards. O'Reilly Media also publishes online through the O'Reilly Network, hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and the Web 2.0 Conference.

          Examples of using Web 2.0 tools for Information Literacy include:

Multimedia Sources for Info Literacy







Illinois Center for Information Literacy










Multimedia Sources for Info Literacy--wiki created by Chris Sweet with links to information literacy resources for use in instruction. 


Illinois Center for Information Literacy--link to the Illinois Center for Information Literacy through WebJunction.


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