Interesting video by Dave Lankes about librarians as facilitators of knowledge creation. Can librarians do this in our virtual libraries? How? In the very least, “Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians” is a catchy title.
Having undergone an Integrated Library System migration last year, two things I decided I could improve on in future projects were better communication with staff and more feedback. Now that my library is currently implementing EBSCO Discovery Layer (EDS) alongside A-Z and Linksource, I have an opportunity to improve on those project management skills.
The first hurdle is that we don’t have regular staff meetings and communication is through one or two people talking face to face or email. I find emails work for brief topics like “Aleph will be down from 3-6am tomorrow,” but not for disseminating all the information needed to facilitate the implementation of a big project.
So to go beyond email and the occasional staff meeting, I’ve created a private guide within our institution’s LibGuides that staff can access through our “Staff” guide. The guide has definitions, a project timeline, links to beta sites, links to support documentation, links to other libraries that have implemented EDS and of course meeting minutes from the EDS working group.
The EDS working group is a small group of volunteers, who will be providing feedback on usability, design, branding, etc. The goal is to meet every week until EDS is implemented in May. While this method is not unusual at most institutions, it is unusual for our current library atmosphere. Yet so far, this method is working well. I am indeed getting staff feedback and posting the outcomes for the entire staff to see on the EDS guide mentioned earlier. As for the workgroup meetings, I just need to work on keeping to the scheduled timeframe and fostering discussion (not just informing).
Finally, I want to create a “what if” board outside my office. I originally wanted to garner ideas specific to the EDS implementation, but now I’m going to keep the idea generation broader. “Technology in the library / Online Presence – What if…?” Perhaps I’ll get some cool ideas that we implement and I can post about at a later date?!