OCLC Symposium: The Mashed Up Library #ala2008

Finally deciphered my notes from the *one* “continuing education” session I was able to attend in my otherwise jam-packed ALA Committee(s) (over)work schedule at #ala2008.

The OCLC Symposium: “The Mashed Up Library” (teaser and write up at It’s All Good)

Great introduction with a mental-state-setting creative exercise:
1. What is your Greatest Resource?
2. What is your Greatest Challenge?
3. What if… (dangerous ideas)
*We stopped cataloging?
*We participated fully with the FBI? (Sienfeld’s Library Cop)
*We mashed up Connexion with WoW = WorldCat of Warcraft

Keynote:
Innovation =
conversion of novelty to value
(novelty to whom? & value for whom?)
means to an end
is not what innovators offer -> it’s what clients/customers/patrons adopt
(from creation of choice -becoming-> value from use)

Mashup =
Interoperability between datasets, between institutions, between library services

Ask users “What is the most innovative thing you think we do for you?”
(put on thick skin for the usual answer: “Library” does not equal innovative in users’ views)

What is (and/or what should be) the most important product of the library?
What institutional innovations and adaptations best get the library to the goal of the most important product of the library?

Competition, like innovation, is a means to an end
it’s about perceived value from choice

How do [users/user communities] brand the library as a competitor?
Who are the library’s competitors?

Learn from the “lead users”
Who are our lead users?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_user
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_design
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-centered_design

With whom do we want to collaborate to create value? & Why?
With whom *should* we collaborate? & Why?

We should market our “best” internal disagreements
Make the users part of the discussion, market and make all points of view available for further discussion

Establish a “librar-atory” that attracts talent and inspire hypotheses
Publicize our R&D efforts

Success will come from taking the path of maximum advantage.
—-

That’s the extent of my notes, I haven’t taken time to reflect on the main message, but I did find a streaming video of the session via David Lee King’s writeup (*sigh* have to use IE from this page to get the video) — which I’ll review when I can get out of my hamster wheel — to help me draw some conclusions.

Mostly it’s a set of questions we, library staff, faculty, and users, should answer or at least discuss. I think the discussion is the more important activity; answers would be nice, but “answers” implies a static state which I don’t expect to see in libraries for a long time 🙂

PS I wrote this up for a quick presentation at the staff meeting this morning & asked folks to do the creative exercise questions on paper — I’ll combine everyone’s responses (and share the aggregate after I ask the library faculty to do the same in our 1st faculty meeting of Fall Semester)

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