28 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 Your Institution 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 intrapreneurship.
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