Posted by: bluesyemre | March 6, 2018

A Library System for the Future by Kelly Dagan @K4Dag


Photo by prottoy hassan on Unsplash

This is a what-if story.

It’s not going to get into technical hows or why-we-can’t-now. It’s going to focus on what we might want to try to build, based on the digital environments our students are engaging with and the expectations they hold.

Let’s start with our themes.

I want to be known

The platforms that students engage with today all try to know them. Think of Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, curated feeds and collections and suggestions all served up around this central notion — we know you, we think you’ll like this.

Education is not immune to these expectations. Adaptive learning, or personalized learning, is already gaining attention and application at various levels, from publishers to entire institutions.

Contrast this with the typical Library website — a static set of options, designed for “everyone” (just in case!), resulting in features that some users may never need to engage with (taking up space and attention).

What if our Library site was individualized?

What if there were an on-boarding process (linked to orientations) where they could select Areas of Interest, preferred format(s), and library location(s)? What if students entering the site saw Your Research Guides, based on their course enrollments, and Your Librarians, with examples of the types of help they provide?

What if the system took the information from on-boarding to automatically suggest databases, show preferred formats first, and privilege availability at preferred locations?

What if you could go into Edit mode and drag and drop in the modules you wanted? (Don’t use the Reserves module? No problem!)

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