Friday, January 2, 2009

Forward. Thinking.

Here are a few thoughts on some of the original questions put to the group.

What do we do well?

  • We get things done
  • Design, build and support an infrastructure
What services are users/librarians going to be asking for that we will need to provide?

Good bread and butter services:
  • Make searching our lists of books, articles and databases not suck
  • Let me personalize my library online, whether at your website or one of my choosing
  • Be intelligent about things you should know: single sign-on/profile services (know which courses I am enrolled in)

What are some new and interesting projects that we are debating within our peer groups or teams?
  • Personalized library home page
  • A Netflix-like experience with the library (fun, endless)

What new techs are out there that we will/should take advantage of?

Forget new technologies – 98% will be passing fads, let’s spend our time beefing up and modernizing our old technologies: our websites, search indexes, user profiles.

How can we help drive service improvement, rather than simply react to demands?
  • Prototype
  • Iterate
  • Prototype
  • Iterate
  • Prototype

What do we need (staff/resources/space/training/time) to meet the demands of the library?
  • Support from our colleagues in the form of trust and well-defined communication mechanisms (willingness to communicate and good-faith efforts towards understanding each other)
  • Clear direction on the priorities and expectations in broad general terms
  • Freedom to define the particulars:
    • what technologies we will use
    • what services will work together
    • who our collaborators will be

What holds us back?
  • As peter once put it in the context of the Google book project: "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good"
  • Pursuing buzzword technologies for the sake of being buzzwordy
  • Seeking out collaboration w/ people for the sake of collaborating and forcing a shared purpose when none exists

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