At the moment, most of my free time is going towards reading through the 110 applications Five Weeks to a Social Library has received for the 40 slots available in the course. Some of the stories are simply heartbreaking. It makes me very thankful for the travel funding I receive at MPOW.
We have been asked a couple times why we are limiting the participation in an online course to 40. Shouldn’t it be open to anyone since it is online? Yes and no. Yes, all of the content will be archived and freely accessible to anyone who wants to view it. However, participants are being split into discussion groups which will be monitored by myself or one of the other wonderful ladies on the planning committee. Each group will have weekly chat sessions to discuss the things learned or discovered during the week. There are also live components for which we wanted to limit participation: like webcasts and chats with presentors.
The other question I seem to be getting a lot is, “Are you guys going to do this again?” Oh, please do not ask. I think I can safely speak for the others when I say that right now we would like to get through this first round and see how it all goes.
The original intent was for other people to use some of the content we create, because it will all be archived for the world to see, or create their own content and use this as a model for other learning communities. I am not sure I want to do this every year, because I am hoping that other library systems, institutions, and committees take this idea and tailor it to the unique needs of their members.
–Jane, start the cluetrain @ your library