Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 291 — 2017
We brought the user into the tool-development workflow.
Information technology is often a “backroom service” whose
staff do not have much contact with front-end users except under
controlled conditions like a usability test or focus group. Although
we did not use Judith’s presence as a substitute for user research,
she helped us make educated guesses that we could later test
with users, maximizing the time that we had with our testers
and speeding up the development process. To build on this, Lisa
works on a public service point once a week to see for herself
how people are using the web spaces and how they describe their
use in their own words. Her time there is lightweight, flexible,
user experience research when documented correctly.
How to Use Intrapreneurship to Promote Holistic Librarianship at
Signal that you are open to intrapreneurship. Let your staff
members know that you are interested in experimenting with your
institution’s organizational structure and are open to their proposals.
This could be as simple as an agenda item at a high-level meeting
or an all-staff e-mail. You might be surprised by the proposals you
get; your staff members undoubtedly have a different perspective
on how to meet your users’ needs. We have
noticed that this is great for staff morale.
Look for likely projects. Time-limited
projects are a promising way to get staff
members working together in new ways. Are you implementing
an important new service or technology? Allocate more focused
staff time to new initiatives for a limited amount of time. Team
members will have the time and mental energy to devote to
developing their skills and knowledge. They’ll get more out of
the experience and grow their skill sets faster. This also helps
build staff buy-in for these projects since the team members
will become champions for it in their home departments.
Signal that you
are open to