Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Last month (or was it the month before?) OPAL posted some basic stats about activity on their online programming service. Its been in my "something to blog about" collection for a while at least. OPAL reports that since January they had hosted more than 40 public online events; 1,295 people had attended these online events; their archive had been accessed almost 4,000 times. WebJunction and SirsiDynix are two other orgs consistently offering free online, synchronous programming to the library community - and while I don't have any of these stats on hand - my sense is that these too are gaining popularily with library staff. There may be other folks doing this locally that I'm not in touch with. (Does anyone know of stats published anywhere on the bulk of these offerings and activities?)

Three years ago, when WebJunction started offering these programs to supplement our Community Focus features, they were well attended (and the archives regularly accessed), but it felt like synchronous online programming was totally new to the library community - everyone was trying to figure it out. It required a ton of suport to get people connected and engaged. We had a to learn an awful lot ourselves. Although there are still logistics to handle on the production side, we're getting better at offering these things, and it's becoming easier, and perhaps more common, to login to a synchronous meeting space for group gatherings, presentations, and even conference presentations.

It's not quite "Web 2.0," but it's certainly worth mentioning our progress in terms of cultural shift around these tools. It seems we've turned a corner from foreign to (at least vaguely) familiar. Now, what to do to get to

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