Welcome to 23 Things, the free online course which introduces library staff to social networking, online tools and mobile technology.

Photo of a door sign saying 23

CC Fukami

The course is self-directed and unstructured and will point you in the direction of where to explore. We want you to browse, play and experiment!

At the end of each Thing, you’ll find some activities, which you HAVE to do if you want to claim to have done the course, and some recommended follow-ups which are simply to allow you to explore further if you want to. Record your progress, thoughts and activities on your blog, which you’ll create in the first module.

If you’re short of time, we’ve identified the core Things that we think are absolutely fundamental. You’ll find them by following the links at the top of the screen.
•Photos and images
•Facebook and social networking
•Twitter and microblogging
•The Legal Bit

Each Thing will take roughly an hour. To help you, we’ve put a guide time at the top of each one. Don’t worry if it takes you longer (or shorter) – some people will know more than others, and some will be more confident.

The last module is all about the legal aspect of these new technologies. There’s a lot of mistrust about the internet, and about social networking in particular. Make sure your mistrust is reasonable. It’s important that you learn how to behave, protect yourself online, and get a basic understanding of intellectual property. To that end we’ve written The Legal Bit. The legal aspect is so important, however, that it crops up in each module. Just remember, you don’t have to read and work through the entire module immediately. It is the last of the Seven Core Things.

Why do the course?

You’re probably working under a lot of pressure. Public services are going through difficult times, budgets are being cut, staff are being asked to take on a wider role and workloads are increasing. Why are you being asked to do a course which may seem so frivolous when you need to keep your head down and get your work done?

The course will give you umpteen reasons why you should know about social networking, internet tools and mobile technology. One of the biggest is that doing things online is no longer optional. It’s an essential life skill, and you and those you serve in the library will face difficulties and frustrations without familiarity in using the internet. The internet is no longer simply a static information silo but the hub for a myriad of activities and this change has been evolving for well over a decade. So many tasks are done online, from applying for benefits, finding the telephone number of the local garage, applying for a job, booking cinema tickets, to keeping track of your friends’ birthdays, and much more. This creates a number of challenges for library staff. Therefore, 23 Things for Public Libraries aims equip staff to create, access and advise upon anything from Blogs and Instant Messaging; QR codes, Wikis and eBooks, to the mobile version of your library’s website and legal aspects to watch out for.


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