Helene Blowers is the digital strategies director for the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, which was recently rated a five-star library by Library Journal for the second year in a row. Named a “mover and a shaker” by the same publication in 2007, Blowers created the Learning 2.0 project, which has been duplicated by more than 700 organizations worldwide.
Blowers also writes a blog called LibraryBytes where she examines trends and offers constructive advice for other lifelong learners.
fE: What made you choose to become a librarian?
HB: By some people’s definition I may not be a librarian because I do not have formalized training. But I have worked in libraries for 17 years.
I work in libraries because I’m passionate about learning. I started as a library page at my hometown library when I was in high school and ended up also working in the library in college, processing interlibrary loans as part of my work-study program. My degree is actually in organizational communications and after college I started doing a lot of technology training. That was in the early 1990s. From teaching technology at the community college, I then jumped back into libraries from an education standpoint, becoming Charlotte Mecklenberg’s public library’s first library resource trainer.
Now, I’m the digital strategies director for the Columbus Metropolitan Library and although my specific area of focus is mostly in the digital space, it’s really the learning aspect that keeps me here.