Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wired News | Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks

Wired News | Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks

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."

Google and Microsoft are racing into libraries to digitize the world's books, but the success of Learning 2.0 shows that the human problem of retraining workers is often being tackled from the ground up....

Be sure to read the entire article and then run out and start this in your library immediately!

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