Why 23 things?
The aim of this programme is to introduce library staff to Web 2.0 technologies – working on the principle that exposure is the first stage in learning.  Over the 12 weeks, the aim is for staff to spend a little time each week working on the project, building up their own skills as well as adding to their abilities at work.  It is hoped that having an average of 2 Things to do per week will make this challenge realistic as well as wide-ranging within the time available.  23 Things Oxford is based on the original 23 Things program which ran at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

Is this programme open to all library staff or just some?
This programme is open to ALL staff in Oxford libraries regardless of their position and status (full and part time). If you are not a member of the Oxford libraries staff, you are welcome to follow along, but you will not be eligible for support or completion certificates or prizes.

How does this online learning programme work?
This is a self-discovery programme which encourages you to take control of your own learning and to use your lifelong learning skills through exploration and play. You are encouraged to work together and share with each other your discoveries, techniques and tips both in person and through your blogs.  There will also be 3 drop-in sessions offered to support this programme.

Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this? 
This is a self-directed learning programme but there are three drop-in sessions to support staff during the scheme. If you feel you need assistance with an item, you are encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker or another staff member who can help. Reading other participants’ blogs can help too - to see who else is taking part, go to the 23 Things Oxford blog and you will find all participants’ blogs listed on the sidebar.

How do I register to take part?
In week 2 (week beginning 25/01/10), you will set up a blog to record your progress (Thing 3) and the Thing 4 post will include instructions on how to register your blog with the 23 Things Team.  We will then add each participant’s blog URL to the sidebar of the 23 Things Oxford blog.  Participants can register later than week 2, but will still have to complete all the Things before 9th April in order to qualify for completion certificates and prizes.

Once I complete all 23 Things, how do I get my prize?
Staff who complete all 23 Things by 9th April will receive a completion certificate and a £10 voucher for Amazon or iTunes.  They will also be entered into a draw to win an iPod Nano.
If you complete all 23 Things by 9th April, your completion certificate and prize will be given to you at a prize-giving event at 16:30 on 28th April in the Divinity School. If you complete the programme after 9th April, you will not be eligible for a completion certificate and prize but you will still have your blog as a record of your participation.

How long do I have to complete the programme?
The programme kicks off on 18th January 2010 and officially wraps up on Friday 9th April: 12 weeks, 12 themes, 23 Things to complete.  

How do I know which Things to do and when?
The full 23 Things list appears on the 23 Things Oxford blog.  Each week, the blog will be updated with details about the discovery exercises for that week. The reason for this staggered approach is to allow participants the ability to focus each week on a different area without feeling overwhelmed.

How do I track my progress for each of the 23 Things?
Each staff member who chooses to participate in this programme will keep a blog to track their progress.  Each time you complete a task, write a short blog post about it and tag it with e.g. ‘Thing 12’.

May I work ahead through the list of items on my own?
Yes, of course. You are encouraged to self-direct your discovery process, especially by working ahead on your own! However, if you do work ahead on some items, be sure to check back on the exercise details for each item once they are posted so you can be sure to receive full credit for its completion.

May I refer to Web 2.0 tools I’m already using?
Absolutely – just don’t forget to post about your experiences each week and use the appropriate tag(s).  If you are already familiar with a resource, such as Flickr, this is a good opportunity to use the further exercises to develop your knowledge.

What if I need help?
Since this programme is self-directed and is being completed by many staff members simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey. To see who else is taking part, go to the blog and you will find all participants’ blogs listed on the sidebar.

I would like take part but don't feel comfortable with my co-workers reading my blog, may I participate anonymously?
Yes and no… since you control all the information that you share on your blog, you can choose to use a screen name that does not identify you personally. However, in order to be eligible for the completion certificate and prize, you will need to identify yourself when you register your blog with the 23 Things Team.

Who are the 23 Things Team?
Laura WilkinsonPenny SchenkJane RawsonEmma Cragg and Angela Carritt

  • You will be setting up some new usernames and passwords during this programme.  Record these somewhere discreet (e.g. in a notebook) so that you don’t forget them.
  • If you find expressions such as ‘SEO’ that you don’t understand, try this in Google: define=SEO to find a list of definitions
Please see also 23 Things Summary