Innovation in Libraries and Information Services: Volume 35

Cover of Innovation in Libraries and Information Services

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiii
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Purpose

To provide an in-depth survey and review of innovation in library and information services (LIS) and to identify future trends in innovative research and its practical application in the field.

Methodology/approach

An in-depth review and summation of relevant literature over the last twenty years, along with an analysis and summary of the other papers in the volume.

Findings

Innovation in library and information work varies between the evolutionary and the discontinuous. A taxonomy of innovatory approaches to development and provision in the sector is provided, along with a detailed listing of the key elements of successful and not-so-successful innovative practice.

Research limitations/implications

The work is dependent on existing literature rather than direct empirical work. However, because it draws together all major aspects of the topic, it has the potential to be used as a springboard for further generic studies and also specific programmes of work.

Practical implications

The need for innovation in LIS will be ever more pressing. The present chapter provides a necessary and rigorous overview of the necessary elements required for success in this area. It will be useful as a reference tool for intending researchers in library and information provision in a wide range of environments.

Originality/value

Because the chapter brings together a substantial body of information on the topic of innovation, it provides a comprehensive study of major developments and likely future trends in the field.

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Purpose

This chapter describes challenges that academic libraries face in the era of data-intensive research.

Methodology/approach

A review of current literature about the topic was performed. The main features of the data-intensive paradigm of research are outlined and new tasks to be performed by academic libraries are explored.

Findings

To fulfil their mission in this environment, academic libraries have to be equipped with tools that can be epitomised as research data services and include research data-management and digital data curation. Issues of data quality, data citation and data literacy are also of prime importance for related academic library services that also need to employ ‘new’ librarians, that is professionals, armed with novel and adequate skills.

Originality/value

The chapter outlines both background and practice, associated with data-related opportunities and responsibilities.

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Purpose

The purpose of this research is to describe a theory of management strategy for libraries based on library core values. This research also determines the fundamental rules that cause libraries’ innovative changes.

Methodology/approach

This research focuses on 16 detailed management cases involving US and Japanese academic and public libraries from the 1960s to the 2010s. It analyses documents related to strategic management, organisation and operations, collected through surveys and interviews with library directors and managers. Based on those case analyses, the researcher identified the strategic patterns of libraries; a strong relationship of services, organisations, core skills and knowledge and environments. Finally, a strategic management theory for libraries emerged as a result of this research.

Findings

This research constructed a theory of management strategies for libraries. It consists of four general strategies and eight specific strategies. In addition, this research also determines fundamental elements that cause strategic and innovative changes of libraries, and describes a rule for those innovative changes that dictates that library services and organisational structures follow strategy, and strategy follows media format.

Originality/value

The originality of this research is in successfully constructing the theory of management strategy for libraries based on library core values. In the library world, most librarians and researchers tend to describe library strategies based on business management theories.

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Purpose

The chapter is a personal opinion piece designed to provoke thought and discussion.

Methodology/approach

It reviews the ways in which libraries have responded to technological change over the last 50 years.

Practical implications

The focus is very much on higher education libraries, however the conclusions also have general applicability. The chapter concludes that libraries have to rethink their approach to services and accept a cultural change which embeds them as part of an information flow rather than a filter for the organisation and encourages them to focus much more on integration with corporate mission. There are real implications for the practice of libraries and for a rethinking of their social value and nature.

Originality/value

The chapter synthesises many strands of thought and the practical recommendations for change are of undoubted value to the reader.

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Purpose

This chapter aims to describe the development of the interlending and document supply (DS) service over the past 30 years and to show that this service still has much to offer.

Methodology/approach

After a historical introduction, the current environment for researchers is assessed and analysed in the current context of the rapidly changing access to information.

Findings

The interlending and DS service has declined in the last 10 years owing to the dual impact of the ‘Big Deals’ and the growth in open access. However the service retains its value for providing access to the vast amounts of material that is still not freely available or is hidden behind expensive pay walls.

Originality/value

This is the only study that analyses the current global situation regarding the interlending and DS service.

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Purpose

The author proposes the broad use of a Librarianship Portfolio in performance evaluation of librarian work performance and promotion decisions, and a rubric is formulated to guide managers in its use.

Findings

The librarianship portfolio and rubric offer a flexible and significant alternative to many performance evaluation techniques. Tailored to a broader array of institutional types and employment situations these tools can provide both management and employees with collaborative and substantive information about professional performance and appraisal.

Practical implications

The librarianship portfolio itself and the proposed rubric offer the library world a structured, summative and collaborative process for performance evaluation of work performance. They offer employees a means of ‘looking their best’ to the management, and the management a calibrated and clear method of feedback.

Originality/value

The librarianship portfolio discussed as well as the rubric proposed are original formulations and tools, based on well-established and effective evaluative techniques.

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Purpose

This is a case study on the opportunities provided by Open Source library systems and the experience of delivering these systems through a shared service.

Methodology/approach

This chapter derives from desk research, interviews, and direct involvement in the project. The format is a case study, setting out a detailed timeline of events with information that can be applied in other settings.

Findings

This chapter presents reflections on the value and limitations of collaboration amongst libraries and librarians on an innovative approach to library systems and technologies. It also presents reflections on lessons learned from the processes and detailed discussion of the success factors for shared services and the reasons why such initiatives may not result in the outcomes predicted at the start.

Practical implications

Libraries and IT services considering Open Source and shared service approaches to provision will find material in this study useful when planning their projects.

Social implications

The nature of collaboration and collaborative working is studied and observations made about the way that outcomes cannot always be predicted or controlled. In a genuine collaboration, the outcome is determined by the interactions between the partners and is unique to the specifics of that collaboration.

Originality/value

The case study derives from interviews, written material and direct observation not generally in the public domain, providing a strong insider’s view of the activity.

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Purpose

The effective and efficient analysis and application of information lies at the heart of success in today’s world. Greater emphasis is now on the quality of information and the confirmation of its value through effective analysis and review. This includes engaging in dialogue to enhance understanding, the empowering role of technology and the versatility that information provides.

Methodology/approach

The chapter considers the innovative use of information from different perspectives to encourage readers to reflect on their own experiences and think about their individual and organisational uses of information with a view to being creative and exploring new avenues of use. Two case studies are included to demonstrate possible approaches – not as a definitive way ahead but more as examples of possibilities.

Findings

There will continue to be new ways of innovating information – some of which we know, others which we don’t yet know. The creative thinking approach that is key to being unafraid to explore and use information to best effect is the overall finding of this chapter.

Originality/value

With the continually changing landscape of technology, the creative and original use of its application is the key to continued entrepreneurial outcomes. Some suggestions for the innovative use of information are included – certainly not a definitive list – to encourage reflection, inspire creativity and stimulate thinking with the overall aim of gaining value from information.

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Purpose

Innovation is proven to be an essential element of every organisation that wants to achieve survival and sustain its presence. Libraries as information organisations are transformed into innovation incubators because of the fluid information environment, the social and economic influences and their desire to advance the public good. The Greek public libraries of Nafpaktos, Levadia and Veria are known examples of libraries that have successfully embraced change and innovation. This research aims to identify, through a content analysis of these specific public libraries’ websites, the innovative services they offer to the community.

Findings

It was found that the chosen public libraries offer a wide range of innovative services (e.g. Media Lab, Information Centres). No matter the challenges the Greek public libraries are facing, they have developed the necessary internal mechanisms to change the difficulties into opportunities and chance for excellence.

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Purpose

This chapter explores the roles that library leaders have in ensuring libraries demonstrate innovation and creativity in their services, systems and facilities. This is grounded in the pressures for innovation resulting from the ‘disruptive technologies’ identified by Christensen (1997). ‘Obliquity’ (Kay, 2011) is inter-related around how innovation can be used to meet the challenges. The areas proposed where library leadership can contribute to innovation are leading by example, shaping organisational culture/values, ensuring appropriate training/development takes place, helping develop appropriate organisational structures and establishing appropriate reward and recognition.

Methodology/approach

Both theoretical insight and practical experience are used to inform the chapter. Management and leadership theories/research provide the context within which library leadership and innovation is explored. This is complemented by the authors between them have experience in developing innovation in libraries and also in delivering leadership training on innovation.

Practical implications

For any library looking to demonstrate innovation and creativity, the chapter identifies some clear responsibilities for leaders. The five specific roles for the leader are crucial in libraries being innovative. A further element of the work is that it explores some of the challenges a library leader will face in moving in this direction.

Originality/value

Having joint authorship by people from different backgrounds ensures that the chapter is based on a blended insight of theoretical understanding and practical experience.

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Purpose

The authors present analysis of journal evaluations in creating a customized serials collection specific to veterinary medicine. Readers may apply techniques used for the veterinary medicine library to their own subject specific collections.

Methodology/approach

A review of research in journal evaluations and collection assessment was conducted with emphasis on veterinary medicine. This chapter provides a detailed critique of research on journal evaluations for academic libraries as well as the authors’ customized approach in creating a subject specific core journal list for a veterinary medicine library.

Findings

By utilizing the current research in evaluating library journal collections, librarians can customize their own approach to create core journal lists specific to the academic departments they serve, allowing for a more effective serials collection.

Originality/value

Collection assessment and development differs according to user groups based on local needs. Librarians can develop collection development plans specific to their subject areas by using national standards along with local qualitative and quantitative data.

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Purpose

To investigate how the United Kingdom’s public museums, libraries and archives (collecting institutions) might, in the future, take strategic advantage of the dramatic changes in individual and social behaviours and expectations driven by the socio-technical determinism of the Internet since 2000.

Methodology/approach

The chapter summarises the evidence and outcomes of PhD research completed in 2015 that used the tools of hermeneutic phenomenology and systems theory to examine the current state of digital strategy within the United Kingdom’s collecting institutions and to compare this with the Internet’s fundamental drivers of change and innovation. The research sought not to predict the future, but to define the key opportunities and challenges facing collecting institutions in face of sustained socio-technical change to maintain strategic fit, delivering maximum value in the digital space.

Findings

The outcomes of the research demonstrated that libraries, like museums and archives, are ill-prepared to face continued socio-technical determinism. The key drivers of the Internet are single channel convergence, rapid innovation, instant two-way communication driving social interaction and dramatic change in the relationship between the supplier and the user. Collecting institutions, on the other hand, operate within vertically integrated silos restricting horizontal collaboration that has led to fragmentation of developments and constraints on strategy across and within the various institutional sectors. The major challenges that libraries must consider are summarised.

Originality/value

The research takes an approach that has never before been attempted, either in scope or depth of analysis. The conclusions may not make comfortable reading for practitioners, but they offer an agenda for new ways of thinking about how public institutions must change to sustain their strategic fit in a digital future.

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About the Authors

Pages 313-318
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Cover of Innovation in Libraries and Information Services
DOI
10.1108/S0732-0671201735
Publication date
2016-12-08
Book series
Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78560-730-1
Book series ISSN
0732-0671