I'd like some feedback about specifications I am writing for our uni library's Emerging Technology group. We are a small uni in Western Australia, so don't have a lot of staff or money/time.

I'm seeing my library director about it on Friday.

What would you add? What would you take away?

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Library Emerging Technology group (LET)

PURPOSE:
* To discover, incubate and communicate new technological tools so we can provide better service to our clients.
* To discover, understand and communicate new attitudes and expectations which come with the use of new technological tools.
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METHOD
This is done by:
* experimenting with using new web tools to run the business of the group.
* welcoming input and attendance by any member of library staff to any meeting/event
* maintaining current awareness of useful new technologies.
* assessing the potential of very new web tools, which may be unfinished or in beta, by hands on experimentation.
* accepting that some technologies assessed will be rejected after experimentation.
* experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects using appropriate new technologies. (eg. podcasting)
* experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects which accomodate new expectations brought about by new web tools (eg. allowing comments on an external blog)
* sharing information about useful new technologies with other library staff informally and by seminars and hands on workshops.
* identifying projects which could be better developed to full production by another area of the library, rather than remain the experimental responsibility of the group.

Maybe:

developing guidelines to evaluate new technologies for our library.
developing guidelines for individual web tools (eg. blogging guidelines)

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TOOLS:
* RSS aggregator - Bloglines or Google Reader. RSSPopper for IP restricted feeds. Ultimately the university portal.
* Bundle of key library emerging technology RSS feeds (OPML file)
* RSS "vanity feeds" of query "M***** Library"
* Tagging items on del.icio.us or connotea or citeulike and putting them into one RSS feed
* Emerging Technologies Wiki for recording static projects
* Emerging Technologies blog
* Possibly use a google group?

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Replies to This Discussion

I really like this suggestion, Michael!

Good luck with this project, Kathryn - sounds like it will be a very interesting and rewarding one!
What a great list! I actually work in a department in the library that is focused pretty much on emerging technologies. I'd like to share this list with the unit and see how much we can use. Thanks.
The term Working Party always makes me laugh - seems like an oxymoron :)
I am actually an Emerging Technology Librarian at my school, and most of my time is doing just what your group intends to do. I'm not sure how small your institution is, but I would suggest expanding from "library staff" to "campus community." Groups like this can act as a liaison to other groups on campus that are interested in the same emerging technologies. Its good to get people from outside the library involved as they will provide a different perspective, and ultimately will become the audience that you start to design these new library services for. In the end they will appreciate the opportunity for involvement, and will be that much more invested in the emerging technology implementation at the library, and at the university. Ok I've babbled long enough but it was the end of the day for me. Good luck with your meeting!
What a wonderful way to get library staff involved in new technologies! I really hope that you will share your experiences with this emerging technologies group - and how it goes. I work at a small college library and I struggle with ways to get our staff more interested and excited about new technologies. I find it disasterous to introduce new technologies if staff aren't on board with them.
Thanks for your feedback. Feel free to steal any of the above. I'll update here or (if my managers OK it) on my blog.

I agree that this can be a way to create alliances and understandings with other parts of campus - and I'm suggesting that we have a representative from our Teaching and Learning Centre and from our IT department on the group. Just thought then - I wonder whether we should ask a ..gosh..student.

I was thinking of starting a few "brown bags" for the campus community to hear about this. Out IT staff are so stretched that they couldn't join in on something like this and to not include them on a campus wide group would look like muscling in on their turf. In my ideal world, they'd be the people leading US.

A more interesting point we're working out tomorrow is which staff do we involve and how do we decide? Do we go all 2.0 and open it up to anyone who wants to? Do we co-opt the people who will actually get work done? Do we co-opt people who may not join otherwise, but we think need to know this stuff to do their job properly?
Great stuff Kathryn, so timely for me too. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to use your good ideas!

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