I am very excited and honoured to publicly announce a project I have been working on for the last six months or so, with Richard Sayers from CAVAL and Michael Stephens.
The formal media release:
Internationally recognised US Web 2.0 commentator, writer and library academic, Dr Michael Stephens, has been appointed the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar.
In a world first for CAVAL and its project partners CityLibraries Townsville and Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dr Stephens’ research project will seek to measure the value and effect of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian libraries.
“The intent of this study is to understand the impact on library staff and institutional culture and makeup after a Learning 2.0 program“, Dr Stephens says.
“The critical questions for libraries looking forward are to what extent has Learning 2.0 impacted institutional culture and staff confidence, and to what degree has it improved the ability of library staff to use emerging technologies?”
Dr Stephens notes that “More than 500 libraries in 15 countries have implemented Learning 2.0 programs in 2 years but we know very little about their effectiveness. Nearly 10% of these Learning 2.0 programs are Australian, ranging from large State and University libraries through to public and special libraries and a small school library in New South Wales.”
First developed by the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County under a Creative Commons license in 2006, Learning 2.0 is an online learning program that encourages library staff to explore and learn about emerging Web 2.0 technologies. Web 2.0, also called the Read/Write Web or Social Computing, enables users of all ages and walks of life to create, change and publish their own Web content. Blogs and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are common examples.
Working with a co-researcher from CityLibraries Townsville, Dr Stephens’ research aims to develop a world first model for what he terms “an exemplary Learning 2.0 program for Australian libraries.”
For Dr Stephens’ acclaimed Tame the Web blog, visit http://tametheweb.com/
For more information about the original Learning 2.0 program, visit http://plcmcl2-about.blogspot.com/
ABOUT THE PROJECT PARTNERS:
CAVAL is an Australian not-for-profit company established in 1978 to support leading libraries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. CAVAL is owned jointly by 11 Australian universities and provides a range of specialised services to the library sector including storage and digital preservation, training and consulting.
Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1930 and has grown to become one of the United States’ largest Masters of Library and Information Science degree-granting programs. More than 600 students attend classes in River Forest, Greater Chicago, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
CityLibraries Townsville was formed by the merger of the Townsville City Council and Thuringowa City Council in March 2008. Three library branches, mobile services plus a virtual branch serve the whole of Townsville - from the inner city to Magnetic Island, from the suburbs to the rural communities. Each branch offers specialist services and facilities that provide for a diverse community
(end media release)
There will be more detailed information about the research project announced over the coming days and weeks, so keep and eye out here and on Michael’s blog, plus our Twitter streams.