Category Archives: Library Innovators

Rethinking Resource Sharing Conference


This was on the wall as part of the ground rules in the large meeting room for the RRS Comnference. Works for me! :-)

Yesterday I spoke at the Rethinking Resource Sharing Conference outside of Chicago. This group is doing some darn cool stuff and their Web page sums up their goal nicely:

Creating a new global service framework that allows individuals to obtain what they want based on factors such as cost, time, format, and delivery. This framework will encompass promoting and exposing library services in a variety of environments.

I stayed to see a presentation about their new “Get It” Button. The Get-It Prototype Demonstration by John Bodfish of the Interoperability Working Group was fascinating. The button was described as a way to get particular materials, for example a book listed on a bookseller’s page, etc. If I’m browsing a certain title, I can click the Get It Button and a window pops up with a listing of various places to get the item, including the local library. It details prices — and the library shows up as FREE. Users can customize the location and other information. Currently it’s a Firefox plug in with more options and platforms to come. I asked to try it out as soon as possible.

Michael Colford posted about it as well at the Boston Regional Library System blog: John Bodfish, Senior Technical Designer/Developer at OCLC PICA, Inc, and member of the Interoperability Working Group of RRS, provided a demo of the proposed “Get It Button.” Currently being developed as a Firefox add-on, the “Get It Button” can be used while viewing a webpage that includes bibliographic resources, such as, a library catalog, an online syllabus, a page from iMDB (The Internet Movie Database), to find out several options for attaining that resource, whether that be purchasing the material from an online vendor, borrowing it free from your local library, or in the case of movies, adding it to your Netflix queue. It’s an astounding piece of programming that we’ll be hearing much more about in the very near future.

From the notes of the demo: “Users can click the button to find out where they can get the item they are looking for. It’s open source, vendor neutral, could be promoted by libraries, won’t belong to vendors or specific libraries.”


I’m interested to see where this goes. I wish much success for this ad hoc group of librarians keenly aware that current ILL systems just do not fit the bill anymore. Well done! Any folks at RRS – if I didn;t get any details right please let me know!

The group’s wiki is here:

Ubiquitous Insight (Academic Libraries Again!)

So glad to see Brian S. Matthews in the current class of M&S. While I am on this kick pondering the role of the academic library, it was nice to catch this in his profile:

We can and should lure students in with library spaces designed for patrons, not librarians, Mathews says. On his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian, he describes a campus study that analyzed spaces nonlibrary users preferred for studying, spaces that combined “refreshments, aesthetics, friends, comfort, cleanliness, diversions, and unpredictability.” Library renovations were accordingly aimed at allowing sociability, playfulness, and a recharging of mental batteries. Mathews is also full of ideas for fun library events (Trivia Nights, speed dating, a night of rappelling down the Library Tower) and better ways to market them.

Mathews wants librarians to use assessment techniques focused on the users’ experience, not library inputs. When a library’s services aren’t working for its users, we need to change them, he argues. “We should support responsible risk-taking.”

This, in my book, is a path to the future for academic libraries to thrive! More here.

Create…Explore..Inquire…Learn..Discover (More Academic library Innovation)

Mills Learning Commons is an active, student-centered learning space that integrates traditional and emerging scholarly resources, information technology, expert help, instruction, and collaborative and individual study space.

Academic Library Innovation

Congratulations to the folks at Mills Library at McMaster University for winning the McMaster Student Union’s Rudy Heinzl Award of Excellence for their redesigned Learning Commons.

Read all about it at the library blog, including this: It is especially gratifying to receive this award since it comes from the students themselves.

I visited the library and walked through the commons when I was on campus in January and it was ALIVE with students working together and hanging out. The configuration of tables for students, lots of outlets, desktop computers for those without laptops and the general feel of the space inspired me.

More from Mills

I love the Web presence as well. The faces and the signs make the message stronger: “your library just got better.” Note the combined presence of an IT assitance desk, instant messaging reference service (oh yeah!) and an encouraging tone.

Get a load of the RSS choices on the library news page. Impressive. Do I detect the handiwork of Mover & Shaker Amanda Etches-Johnson here? She is the User Experience Librarian, after all. :-)

AND don’t miss the student comments and responses PDF.

Kudoos to all at Mills Library!

Darien Tag: Jane Weighs In on Darien

Darien Tag

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre.

They trust their people. Everyone on their staff who wants to blog, can, in their own voice, and style. When speaking with Louise Berry and Alan Gray at Midwinter, I was impressed with their desire to see their staff succeed, for their voices to be heard, and for their library to be the kind of place that works from the bottom up. This was not mere lip service, which is what I fear is the noise I hear most often. They were striving to, not only create a human face for their library, but promote it as one of their hallmarks.

They cared enough about the success of their new initiatives that they planned an all day staff retreat to kick it off. All. Day. Staff. Retreat. Amazing, yes? When was the last day all of your staff attended a training, together? When was the last time there was an honest discussion? When was the last time the library was closed?

Louise Berry, their director, is also a great lady who seemed like the kind of boss many of us long for. I must admit that being managed well is a blessing, one that it very hard to lose.

Library Innovators*: McMaster University Press Coverage

Forget the card catalogue. McMaster’s new librarian is talking blog, wiki and gaming. He’s even giving the university an alternative life on a popular online world.

Library Innovators

Read the Full Article

I had the pleasure of presenting the kickoff for McMaster University library’s Learning 2.0 program last week and I had the distinct pleasure of dining with University Librarian Jeff Trzeciak and User Experience Librarian Amanda Etches-Johnson.

Our lunch disciussion was incredible and I felt I was truely in the presence of Innovators. Want proof? Check out the Hamilton Spectator article above.

When McMaster University hailed the hiring of a new chief librarian last year, then-provost Ken Norrie called the arrival of the new man a “coup.”

Now, just seven months into the job, Jeffrey Trzeciak is shedding parts of the old regime and changing the basic mission of the library.

Forget resorting the card catalogue — his “transformation” is all about Second Life, blogs, wikis and the hiring of what’s likely the first gaming librarian at a university library.

“We are trying to go where students are,” says Trzeciak, a young 40-year- old who plays multiplayer online video game World of Warcraft — a lot. He speaks quickly, like a rapid-fire barrage, even before his large afternoon coffee. “So, we just opened a reference service in Second Life.”

Watch this university library closely folks… their innovations today will set the standards for excellence in library services for the future.

*This is a new category at TTW…I like it. :-)