The Books@Work Badge

The Books@Work Badge

At Books@Work, we know that our participants are committed to learning and personal growth. This program exists to encourage and support individuals and communities as they engage with reading, conversation and collaboration. Without the active engagement of our participants, Books@Work would not be possible.

Since the inception of Books@Work, we have been looking for ways to acknowledge participant contributions to the program. Obviously, reading and conversation bring many benefits and rewards, which are often highly personal.  At the same time, we wanted participants who so desire to be able to demonstrate to their employers, friends, family and professional colleagues the journey that they have undertaken through Books@Work.

To that end, we are pleased to announce the Books@Work Badge, a digital representation of that journey.  Using Mozilla’s Open Badge system, the Books@Work Badge is both a testimony to participant learning as well as a credential that individuals can take with them as they move forward in their careers and communities.

What, exactly, is a badge?  A badge is a digital sign or representation of an achievement, experience or skill.  In recent years, digital badges have emerged as a flexible way to acknowledge the learning that happens every day, often outside of traditional classrooms and training contexts.  Although there are several badge systems, Mozilla’s Open Badges program offers a free, standardized model for earning, issuing and displaying badges.  These badges are coded to belong only to the earner and display the credential earned upon a single click. Open Badges are valuable tools in encouraging and documenting lifelong learning and the program has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation and Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). You can learn more about badges here, as well as in the short video we’ve included at the end of this post.

To earn the Books@Work Badge, participants must attend 10 out of 12 Books@Work sessions, as verified by the faculty (who will be taking attendance).  Additionally, we will ask badge-earners to share a brief reflection on the experience, including impressions of the books they read.  The Books@Work Badge program is completely voluntary, and is not a requirement to participate in Books@Work.

We are excited to launch the Books@Work Badge, and our hope is to build on this initial offering by developing other, more advanced badges in the future.  We welcome any feedback you might offer on the Books@Work Badge, and are open to suggestions for improving the program in general.  Please leave any comments below, or email us at

Ultimately, the Books@Work Badge is one way for us to say “thank you.”  Our enthusiastic, intelligent participants make this program successful, and we are grateful for their partnership.

Video produced and distributed by the MacArthur Foundation.

Paul Jaussen

Paul Jaussen

Paul Jaussen is an Assistant Professor of Literature at Lawrence Technological University and former member of the Books@Work team.