SPEC Kit 339: Innovation and R&D · 61
I foresee library R&D continuing to derive support only from the operating budget.
In the near future I don’t imagine there ever being a line specifically for R&D. We build R&D practices into everything.
For example, I am currently developing a presentation rehearsal room. I have a set budget for that project which
includes R&D as well as furniture and technology and publicity. Our approach is to bundle R&D into project or
departmental budgets rather than saying it be a line item in the total library budget.
Our operating principles and culture suggest that innovation is an essential strategy in how we plan and develop rather
than a separate enterprise. We expect staff to think creatively and to be flexible in assignments that address new needs.
Similarly, research (i.e., data analysis, assessment) is core to advancing our service portfolio and contributing to the
profession. Reappointment and continuous appointment (tenure) is contingent upon these types of contributions.
R&D activities will continue to be embedded in the library program.
R&D will not likely be a line item in the budget in the near future. Library R&D activities will continue primarily within
grant-funded projects.
Right now, there is not a dedicated line item in the budget. It is not definitively yes or no as an R&D project could be
funded if it arose and was viewed as a high priority. Future discussions of R&D and innovation will most likely inform
how budgeting is managed for those types of efforts.
Under discussion
We expect R&D planning to be a large part of our future and budgets will need to accommodate this.
We have no plans for this in the near future.
We have tried to have innovation permeate both our culture and the budget process. At different times, we have put
out a call for innovation grants internal to the library the decision to do that precluded other sources of funds to do
innovative work.
While this could change, current practice is to rely on either special sources of income as documented in other questions,
or to earmark unrestricted endowment and operational funds for any R&D projects.
Will always be in strategic plan, but we have more flexibility if we fund it through a variety of mechanisms.
36. Please enter any additional information that may assist the authors’ understanding of innovation
and R&D activities at your library. N=9
Our library administration is very committed to startup thinking. We try to encourage lean practices in terms of
ideation and idea development, but innovation is also an outlook. It is very much an attitude rather than just a recipe.
This involves looking for new service models, new liaison roles, new skills and capacities that we need. It all centers
on developing a better understanding of the needs of our users and then addressing the infrastructure to make that
happen. In short, our drive isn’t just making things a little bit better but asking new questions about what we should
even be doing to have the most impact on our community.
Our Library Systems Department has built a lot of innovative applications over the past ten years, all self-funded and all
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