Speakers: Janel White & Hannah Somers (NPR)
They started by playing some clips from NPR broadcasts in which librarians had a role in fact-checking or researching the content. The library is in the digital division, along with the folks who manage the website and API. It is innovating, but also aware that they need a lot of development.
They have begun showing up at divisional product status meetings in order to increase the visibility of their archival project. They have become embedded in other project as experts as a result of this visibility. This is an intentional shift from being viewed as only a service used when their clients needed them.
They used a pilot to both determine which product to use and to get buy-in from their stakeholders. They used Agile to develop the new website and have since adopted it across the board. The team meets daily to talk about what they did the day before and what they plan to do that day. This allows for flexibility and making sure that deadlines will be met. Agile is like baking a new recipe for the first time. You might burn a few, but you know what goes into it and can work to improve it for the next time.
The result is that they were able to redirect and focus their roles away from the ones that were slowly dying. The reference librarians are dispersed across the newsroom to be available at the source, and others are embedded into projects.
Speakers: Jodi Stiles & Greta Marlatt (Homeland Security Digital Library)
After 9-11, the Naval Postgraduate School was asked to come up with a homeland security program, and since then there have been a variety of distance/online masters and certificate options developed.
Five years ago, they had proprietary educational and research support systems that did not talk to each other and were often complicated or duplicative. They got to the point where their servers were crashing every 30 minutes, with each vendor pointing the finger at the others.
To get around the hassle of contracting services, they have adopted open source solutions. Drupal, Moodle, Solr, MediaWiki, and osTicket are their main solutions, and the folks that work with them actually understand what is going on. However, they found that they couldn’t build a whole out of open source parts. After trying to build connectors, they eventually wrote their own tools.
As a result, their stakeholders and the librarians get what they want. They understand how it works and can respond quickly to enhancement requests. However, they have found that they need to be careful about reinventing the wheel.
One thought on “CIL 2011: New Alignments, Structures, & Services”
I did! Interesting stuff. Would love to hear more about how you are applying Agile beyond product/website development.