First off, I am frightfully ashamed that a program that was designed to take 9 weeks took me nearly two and a half years to complete! However, I have worked in three different libraries during that time, completed many other trainings, and gathered enough CEUs to renew my librarian's certificate last June, so I guess I can claim to have been a bit busy. Really though, it's just been difficult to concentrate on this. When I'm on the desk I do my best to help customers and give them my full attention, and when I'm off the desk I tend to weed, keep up the new books collections, do displays, and other, more physically active library maintenance types of projects. Despite all that, it has really been worthwhile overall, and I will try to answer the summary questions as best I can:
What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I am very glad to have learned how easy it is to set up a blog, and to now have insight into how many of the blogs I look at are made. Although I haven't used it much since completing thing 5, I also like the possibilities of Flickr. Some of the news feed services I learned about, like bloglines and RSS feeds, could be very useful for me to keep up on professional issues.
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
It has made me aware that I really do need to think in terms of lifelong learning. The many dead links I encountered along the way make it clear that even in the relatively short time since this program was conceived, a lot has changed, and it will keep changing at a dizzying pace. No one can keep up with every development in technology, but I could try a lot harder to keep abreast of key innovations.
Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I didn't expect for it to take so long, and analyzing why it has has given me some insights into my work habits and ways that I might improve them.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
It might be helpful to organize small groups to work on something like this with a timeline. Say, do three things and meet up in two weeks to discuss and share findings. Even if there weren't time to meet in person, maybe an online discussion group with deadlines that break the project down into smaller pieces might help people like me keep to a more consistent schedule. I also then wouldn't feel guilty about devoting time to something like this when there are other things that need to be done in the library because it would be an assignment that needed to be completed and that others were aware of. When I'm off the desk I always feel like it looks like I'm not working if I spend much time at a PC, and having assigned deadlines, etc. woul make me feel less like I should squeeze this in at home or at some other time.
If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?
How would you describe your learning experience in a few words or a few sentences, so we can share our successes and promote this program?
I think that most librarians today are fairly technologically literate and are aware of the need to keep up on emerging technologies. Knowing that and actually taking action to do that are two different things, though. A program like 23 Things creates a space in the work week for devoting time to keeping up on technology, and constitutes an acknowledgment by administration that this is a vital and important part of our jobs.
Week 1, thing#4
5 years ago