We’re in the midst of working our way through planning an IT strategy for our library.
Why – I hear you ask – did you not already have one? That’s a really good question! It would have been so helpful for us to have one earlier. It just so happens that the current environment has focused our minds on creating one now.
We are trying a few things to facilitate the planning as well as attempting to model the use of some technologies that affect our strategy.
I am thinking of promoting the use of Google docs to do some of the collaborative writing required to create this strategy document – though I have yet to convince everybody!
So far we’ve identified and prioritized some projects that we’d like to work on. I was interested to read Kathryn Greenhill’s post on this topic today (as well as goggling at the Photoshop skills in the baby photo). I especially like her fifth point.
5. What if we look at it as a user problem ? Do our users have problems that we can solve with any of the projects? When talking about what needs to be done, can it be phrased as a user need, not a problem that I have as a librarian? So not “we pay for subscriptions to databases and need to encourage our users to use them more”…. but instead ask “is it too difficult for our users to find the best information we can provide?” . So not “we need more people to use the self-checkouts” but asking “do users have their books issued as quickly and privately as they would like?”.
When prioritising our projects it became quite clear that that team members had individual projects they were particularly passionate about so it useful to step back and look at the projects from this perspective.
One of my hopes for this strategy is that it will be sufficiently fluid to allow us to respond to particular directions or pressures that may arise in the future. That may mean we have to review it every 12 months or less.
I’m also hoping that it will provide a foundation from which we can build on to be an innovative library.
Is it possible to be fluid and be a foundation at the same time? Maybe it has to be like the National Library’s earthquake resilient foundations. Resilience is a good word.