March 2009

It’s not as if trainer-teacher-learners—a group which includes nearly anyone currently affiliated with or using libraries—have any extra time on our hands. There are mornings when the act of opening our eyes and glancing at our to-do lists is enough to make us want to dive back under our blankets, close our eyes, and hope that visions of things to be done will somehow miraculously vanish before we move out of the comfort of our beds.


That, however, didn’t stop several of us from immediately rising to the challenge posed by our fellow CE Buzz blogger Peter Bromberg this morning when he noted–in much kinder and gentler words than I’m using here–that we’ve become somewhat slothful about keeping up our commitment to contribute to CE Buzz and the community of learners it represents. In asking us whether we wanted to continue as contributors and, more importantly, whether we were willing to commit to a fairly easy schedule of posting articles so that fresh content appears regularly, Peter inadvertently reminded us why we were so attracted to the site initially.


My immediate reaction was to call Peter; discuss what we’re doing and what we might be doing better; and promise that I would return sooner than later. Excited and encouraged by what we know will come of this, we both noted that there seems to be a rising wave of energy and excitement around the work CLENE is currently doing and the level of commitment CLENE members bring to the organization and to our parent organization, the American Library Association.


The blog, for many of us, is both an extension and an integral part of what CLENE provides and inspires—a 21st-century physical and online variation of the Third Place which Ray Oldenburg, in The Great Good Place, suggested we need in addition to home and workplace. It should and deserves to be nurtured. And it’s only going to grow if those of us who are committed to contributing to it meet our commitments, and those of you who are drawn into this community of trainer-teacher-learners become active participants through your responses and engagement with all that CLENE and CE Buzz can offer.


“It feels as if we’re right at a tipping point,” Peter commented, and I began to laugh, for even though I recognized the term “tipping point” as coming from Malcolm Gladwell’s book which uses the term as its title, my mind—in equal states of exhaustion and hyper-caffeination—began to latch onto the word “tipping,” picture things being tipped, and—for no reason I can offer other than my penchant for always enjoying word and visual playfulness—started thinking about things being tipped over. Like a glass of wine. Or a glass of milk. Or, in the oft-cited image which must hearken back to our rural roots and people with too much time on their hands, cows—as in “cow-tipping.”


Now please understand that neither Peter nor I are suggesting that we’re going to pursue cow-tipping as a learning technique or a fundraising effort on behalf of CLENE or any of its activities under the auspices of the American Library Association. (I frankly doubt that ALA and its incoming president, Camila Alire, would be very supportive of this kind of endeavor.) On the other hand, the trainer-teacher-learner in me did spend a little time this afternoon with Wikipedia and other sources to learn more about the alleged practice of cow-tipping and read the wikipedians’ report that “According to popular belief, cows can easily be pushed over without much force because they are slow-moving, slow-witted and weak-legged, have a high center of gravity and sleep standing up. Numerous publications have debunked cow-tipping as a myth. Cows do not sleep standing up, nor do their knees lock, making the act of cow-tipping impossible.” (See, you actually learned something by staying with me this far into the blog.)


Please, furthermore, don’t expect us to suggest that current efforts to find a new look and logo for CLENE’s materials might somehow involve the image of a cow being tipped over while engaged in learning—at least not unless other CLENE members and ALA’s wonderful membership director, John Chrastka, want to make a connection I’m not willing to make right now. (No, John, I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to take the lead on this one.)


But do understand that if we could take the time it took to have that conversation this morning and giggle over improbable images and apparently non-existent pastimes, we and our fellow CE Buzzers certainly can carve out the time to continue thinking out loud here on the blog in the hope that some of the more serious ideas and practices which we document and propose will somehow contribute, overall, to the improvement of the training-teaching-learning arena which we all so clearly cherish. And we hope you’ll join us here on the blog, as well as in CLENE, as we continue promoting creativity and innovation in workplace learning and performance to the benefit of libraries and all we serve.


For more information about CLENE and how to join the group, please follow this link.




Elliott Masie has just released his Learning Resources Barometer, the results of a survey to determine how learning budgets and resources are enduring the tough economic times.

The survey measures the increase or decrease in:

  • learning budgets
  • learning departments
  • volume of elearning modules
  • volume of f2f classes
  • amount of employee travel for learning
  • use of social learning
  • and more…

Check it out to see if there are any surprises. While you’re there, take a look at the Social Learning survey results. Where do you think your staff training sits on the scale of things?

There’s a great online social bookmarking service that recently came to my attention ( that the CLENE community (and all interested in staff development and training) can use to share bookmarks of interest with each other

diigo logo

diigo logo

Playing around today, I set up a CLENERT group at: and added a few of my own bookmarks.

Diigo has many nice features including:

  • RSS feed for new content (
  • Ability to comment on and discuss bookmarks
  • Automatic caching of bookmarked pages!
  • Ability to view new bookmarks as a slideshow (great for those of us who are visual)
  • Browser based bookmarklet (which allows highlighting, commenting AND virtual sticky notes–so you can annotate those bookmarks!!)

If you want to try it, simply go to, click join and add a few bookmarks.  I highly recommend adding the “diigolet” bookmarklet to your browser toolbar–it makes bookmarking and annotating a snap!!  If fact, Pandia Search Engine News just listed it as #1 among the top 5 bookmarking tools.

There are many more possibilities here… I think Diigo lends itself beautifully to collaborative working/learning projects.   So, whaddya all think?

Here’s a 4 minute intro video:

(If video doesn’t play, go to:

PRESENT AT ALA at the CLENE Training Showcase!

Does your library have a staff training or staff development program you’re proud of? Is someone from your library attending ALA this summer?

If so, you’re invited to participate in the CLENE Training Showcase where you can share information about your program AND learn about the best practices of other libraries and organizations. There is NO COST to participate! All you do is stand by your table and talk about your cool program with people who stop by. It’s really fun! Applications are due on April 1.

The CLENE Round Table Training Showcase will be Sunday, July 12 from 1:30-3:30 pm. The planning committee is on the lookout for libraries, library organizations, presenters, speakers and vendors to participate – anyone who has a great training or staff development program they’d like to share. CLENE is all about sharing ideas (and stealing ideas ?)so this Training Showcase is the perfect venue. If you have any questions, please give us a call!

The Showcase normally attracts between 200-300 attendees over a period of 2 hours – all of whom are interested in training and staff development. The number of participants (presenters) varies from 20-30. It’s a really fun event with refreshments and lots of door prizes. Each participant has a 6’ draped table on which to put a portable table-top display unit, handouts or other related materials.

Please see CLENE Round Table Training Showcase website for more information. There’s a link on the main page for the Training Showcase Page with even more info about the Showcase, along with two online application forms – one for those wishing to participate and one for those want to be a sponsor or a donor.

There are a few photos from last year’s Training Showcase in Anaheim in the Dec. 2008 CLENExchange Newsletter.

For more information, contact either Pat Carterette, or404-235-7124 OR Melissa Lattanzi at or 330.847.7744, extension 12

We’re conducting an experiment over at WebJunction. And you can help us discover the answers. It’s called the Learn Together Project.

The challenge: can we take a self-paced, online, non-library-specific course and give it meaningful, social engagement with library context?

The course: The Customer’s Voice, a course in improving our anticipation and satisfaction of customers’ (patrons’) expectations

The setup:

  • We (WJ) create a group as a virtual classroom.
  • We invite people in the library world to join the group and sign up for the same course at the same time. (This is where you come in.)
  • We have a live-online kickoff meeting to get the learning juices flowing.
  • We proceed independently through the course.
  • We share our insights and comments in the discussions, and share library-relevant resources with the group.
  • We feel increased motivation and energy to learn and to apply our new knowledge to improve customer service on the job.
  • We learn together.

If you want to participate in our social learning experiment, join the group, enroll in the course, and we’ll see you at the kick-off meeting.