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How to design innovative information services at the library?

Magdalena Wójcik (Institute of Information and Library Science, Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 23 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019




The subject of the paper is innovative information services. The purpose of this paper is to identify the potential sources of innovation in library information services and point out how they can be used to improve the overall service quality.


In the first stage, literature analysis and critique was used to establish the state of research in the field of innovative solutions and select the main sources of innovation in services. Next, a systematic search of the subject literature and network resources was carried out according to the selected criteria to find the examples of innovative commercial services, particularly in the information sector.


Libraries, like all customer-oriented service organizations, must innovate and continually evolve to better meet the needs of their audience. It seems that in libraries, the basis of innovation and building a competitive advantage over other institutions may primarily be the thoughtful design of services in the spirit of the assumptions of the experience economy. Innovative ideas based on in-depth knowledge of user needs are less dependent on financial conditions and more on the creativity and enthusiasm of library staff.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a conceptual work presenting the issue of innovation from the perspective adopted by the author. The paper does not aim to fulfill the subject but to show some interesting aspects of this issue and help initiate discussions on innovation in libraries from the perspective of phenomena present on the commercial information services market. This approach, which has not yet been adapted in library science, may show some new aspects and lead to new conclusions. This is a literature review type of paper that is not based on empirical research and it has not yet been tested in practice; however, the author believes that it can provide a valuable framework for designing and implementing innovative services in libraries. The presented process is a preliminary proposal that can and should be modified in the future based on further scientific reflection and examples of implementations in libraries.

Practical implications

The results can be widely used in practice as a framework for designing innovative services in libraries. The paper, based on subject literature, proposes a process of designing innovative information services that can and should be tested in practice.

Social implications

The paper can help initiate the debate on the need to implement innovative solutions in library services.


The issue of innovation in library services has not yet been widely discussed in library and information science journals from the perspective proposed by the author. This paper presents a specific approach to library innovation based on the observation of the certain phenomena on the commercial market, which opens the door to new reflections.



The author would like to thank Mike Timberlake for proofreading.


Wójcik, M. (2019), "How to design innovative information services at the library?", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 138-154.



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