Monday, March 24, 2014


Megan Egbert is the Youth Services Supervisor for the Meridian Library District in Meridian, Idaho (a suburb of Boise).  Inspired by 3D GameLab, a badge-based learning system for students and teachers, and by the YALSA badge program for competencies around working with teens, she came up with an idea- why not replace performance reviews with badges? While the library was not quite ready for such a big change right away, it began a  voluntary pilot program for staff development using badges.

Advantages of badges:

  • You can keep a record of your accomplishments - no more wracking your brain to remember what you did six months ago.
  • Recognition doesn’t have to be top-down - badges can be awarded by peers.
  • You can display badges on other web sites such as your blog or Linkedin.
  • Gamification gets  staff excited about new library resources and trying new things like Twitter.
  • You can work at your own pace.
  • Encourages staff feedback - have staff suggest badges.

For the program, Megan first tried Mozilla Open Badges, which was too techy, and then
P2PU, which she couldn't get to work at all. Finally, she settled on Credly.  It was easy to use, but had no place to make and archive criteria for challenges.  For, that she used Google Sites,  a simple web site creator that offers a place for staff discussion (we used it in Leadership Academy, it worked pretty well).  

Ideas for badges:

  • Customer service
  • Databases - how many languages are in the language learning tool?
  • A reference trivia contest- they do “Fact Finding Friday” (staff has to document how they found it).
  • Ebooks, Zinio, etc.

Tips for libraries using badges for staff development:

  • Get staff buy-in.
  • Give staff time to work on it
  • Give all staff an equal chance.
  • Encourage feedback.

I think this approach would be good for something like DiscoTech or MORE training, perhaps in combination with training from or Webjunction.

For more information, check this blog post on Tame the Web:

--Andrea @Central

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