This round of 23 Mobile Things has ended. Watch for a new round in Fall 2014.


Over five years ago, the Minnesota multitype library systems brought you 23 Things on a Stick, a self-paced learning program about Web 2.0 tools.

When it comes to technology, five years is a long time and there have been a lot of changes. A big change is the shift to mobile devices. We know that PCs are on the decline and mobile devices are skyrocketing. It only makes sense to continue the 23 Things program with 23 Mobile Things.

23 Mobile Things is a self-paced learning program that will identify 23 types of apps for you to discover.


This program is open to all staff in any Minnesota library – public, academic, school, or special – as well as members of their Governing Boards, their Friends groups, or Advisory Groups. College students in Minnesota library science programs, like those at St. Kate’s, St Cloud State, and MCTC, are also encouraged to participate. Experienced users as well as novices and everyone in between are invited to join. This is self-paced and self-directed.


23 Mobile Things is BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. All you need is an Apple-based (iPhone, iPad) or an Android-based (i.e. Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy) device. You also need to know how to find, download, and install an app on your device from whatever source you use.

Disclaimer: We made the decision to focus on iOS7 and Android for this program. We used a variety of Apple and Android devices to write up all the Things, but we know our screenshots and videos may not look exactly like your device. The functionality should be the same on your device, but the icons or buttons may just be in different spots than what you see in our screenshots or videos. Try your best with our information or find apps that work on your device and blog about those.


We have identified the 23 Things for you to do over the course of the program, but you decide when you do them, the amount of time you spend, and the depth of your exploration. Each of the 23 Things may take an hour to explore or longer depending upon your interest and the time you want to put into it. You document your participation by setting up and maintaining a blog, which is Thing 1.

Each Thing will show you many different apps. These apps will cover a variety of topics: social media, presentations, photography, reference, news, notes, games, and so much more. We have a lot for you to explore and experiment with to determine how you may use these in your library, for your professional development, or personally.

Disclaimer: All the information about the apps and how to use them was up-to-date and accurate as of December 2013. Things may have changed since then. Read an extended disclaimer in the FAQs.

Even if you think you know about the apps in 23 Mobile Things, we encourage you to join the program. And we will learn from you because you will blog about your discoveries.

Everyone who registers by February 15, 2014, completes all 23 items on the list, and blogs about each one by June 15, 2014 will receive a completion prize. Otherwise, there is no deadline and this course will remain online.

Registration occurs as part of Thing 1.


Registration begins January 15, 2014.

  • You must register your blog by February 15, 2014 and then complete all 23 Things by June 15, 2014.
  • Each person participating must have and register his/her own blog.
  • Go to Thing 1 to register.


Each Thing begins with a brief explanation of the app category, followed by many suggested apps and some tips on how to use them. The tips give you the background needed to understand the apps. Don’t skip them!

When you have read and done the tips for each Thing, write a blog post about your experience. (You will learn how to set up a blog in Thing 1.) Your blog is the tool to communicate your reactions, new-found skills, ideas, questions, and favorite apps to the other 23 Mobile Things participants and is how your completion of all 23 Things is documented.

There may be some workshops offered in different multitype regions to support this program, but not for every Thing. This is a self-paced program, but staff are encouraged to work together in their libraries or regions and share with each other their discoveries and techniques in person and through their blogs.

26 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Natasha Olsonawski (@nolsonawski) January 3, 2014 at 8:12 am Reply

    so this isn’t open to teachers? I had completed 23 things on a stick and really enjoyed it…was excited when I knew you were doing another…bummer

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm Reply

      Only Minnesota library staff can officially register for 23 Mobile Things, but anyone can participate on their own once the site opens on January 15.

  2. Larry Hlavsa January 6, 2014 at 10:12 am Reply

    So what is needed to complete this? Do I need a Smartphone? A tablet? It doesn’t say. Maybe nothing? Please add explanation of what device(s) are needed to participate.

  3. Laura M January 15, 2014 at 9:33 am Reply

    ipod touch should work too, right?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 15, 2014 at 10:02 am Reply

      As long as you can download apps to your iPod it should work fine. (Thanks for the question – we hadn’t thought of that yet!)

  4. Qin Tang January 15, 2014 at 10:27 am Reply

    Can I add and use an app that is not listed on your recommended list and write about it?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm Reply

      Because the apps showcased here are some of the most popular apps available we do want you to blog about these specific apps. It’s important that library staff should know about them so that you’re familiar with them when patrons ask and/or if you want to use them to interact with patrons. But as noted in each Thing, we also want you to tell us about apps that you’ve discovered. We look forward to learning from participants, too!

  5. Carol Lynn Borzyskowski January 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply

    Is there a place all the blogs are located?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm Reply

      Just look on the top, right-hand side of the site where it says Participants’ Blogs. Click on your multitype region to see the blogs in that region. NOTE: We add the blogs manually, they are not automatic, so it may take many days for your blog link to show up.

  6. Terri January 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm Reply

    how can we tell if our registration was successful

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 27, 2014 at 8:56 am Reply

      Give us a few days to add your blog, then check the blogroll for your multitype region (under “Participant Blogs” on the right side of the Welcome page). If you don’t see your blog listed after a few days, email us at minn23@gmail.com.

  7. Amy January 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm Reply

    What about tablets and phone the run Windows 8? Are there Windows 8 equivalent apps?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm Reply

      We decided to focus on Apple and Android devices for this program, so you won’t find Windows 8 information here. We chose to focus on Apple and Android because they have the corner on the market right now and they are the type of devices we’re seeing in libraries and at library conferences.

  8. Laurie January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Can I continue my Blog from 23 things on a stick?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm Reply

      Of course! We’re seeing a lot of 23 Things on a Stick blogs when people register and that’s great. We don’t care what blog you use, just as long as we know which posts on the blog are for 23 Mobile Things, so if you have continued to use your 23 Things on a Stick blog, just please put Thing 1, Thing 2, etc., in the title of the each blog post for 23 Mobile Things.

  9. Lori Budahn January 24, 2014 at 11:34 am Reply

    I thought I asked this, but am not getting a reply. When I register should the email I use be my professional/work email or the email that is associated with my blog?

    • 23mobilethingsmn January 27, 2014 at 8:58 am Reply

      Register using whichever email you prefer – it will only be used if we need to contact you. It won’t be made public and won’t affect the listing of your blog on the 23 Mobile Things site.

  10. Mona Frank February 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm Reply

    How long does it take to get a badge? I ask because I want to make sure that I am doing the “things” correctly. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Thanks!

    • 23mobilethingsmn February 12, 2014 at 11:57 am Reply

      It usually only takes a couple days for us to add your badge next to your blog listing on your multitype region’s blogroll. But please see #6 under the FAQs – you need to notify us when you reach the milestones in your blogging so we can add your badge.

  11. Chuck Knudsen February 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm Reply

    It would be really nice if each Thing blog linked to the next one and was linked by the previous. It would save a lot of unnecessary clicking back to the main page.

    • 23mobilethingsmn February 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm Reply

      We don’t do this because not everyone does the Things in a row. You can do them in whichever order you like, except for the first and last ones. But you don’t have to go back to the homepage to access the Things. When you’re finished with one, just scroll up and click on “The 23 Things” in the banner at the top of the website to find them all.

  12. Keeperofthebooks2014 February 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Will an I pod touch work?

    • 23mobilethingsmn February 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm Reply

      As long as you have an iPod Touch where you can download apps, just like you can on an iPhone, you should be good.

  13. Deb Mund February 25, 2014 at 9:12 am Reply

    I set up a blog and completed my Thing one blog assignment in order to register. When I tried to register, it said it was closed. How do I still take the class without being eligible for the “prize” I don’t need the prize, just want the knowledge. I’m a high school librarian.

    • 23mobilethingsmn February 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm Reply

      Registration was open from January 15 to February 15, 2014, so unfortunately registration is closed. These registration dates are listed on the Welcome page, under the FAQs, and in Thing 1. You can still look at all the content and do the program on your own, everything is here on this site, but unfortunately we cannot take more registrations.

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