How can you do more with less in these turbulent times? Isn’t that one of the key questions of the day? How do we keep up with an expanding body of information with less time and resources? In my travels and discussions with members, I keep coming face to face with a refreshing spirit of innovation and creativity.
For example, in Los Angeles last week at the SLA So Cal meeting at the University of Southern California, the speakers offered up some creative solutions to dealing with resource restrictions. A couple ideas struck me as insightful, regardless of the economy, and I thought I’d share them with you.
In one example, Library Manager Sue Brewsaugh and her team at the Boeing Company have developed customized web pages to help groups leverage internal expertise. The customized web pages present information resources on a particular topic to bridge the gap between knowledge management and library resources. They provide integrated connections to external and internal technical material. Security levels are built in. The result has been popular with users.
A second tool the Boeing Library developed is a searchable expert’s collection. The collection brings together, in one place, all the work of individual Boeing engineers in an updatable bibliography and expert’s database.
Another creative solution was presented by Doris Helfer, Chair, Technical Services at California State University, Northridge. At CSU, students are charged a Campus Quality Fee that was instituted in lieu of various small user fees (i.e., lab fees). CSU asks the students to vote on how they’d like to see the money spent by way of campus improvements.
The CSU Northridge Library has successfully received funding for new computers in the computer lab, a new laptop lounge with new furniture, 24/7 access to the library during finals, MyILibrary (from Coutts) which is a patron-driven model of e-book selection, and they just received funding, for next year, for a pilot project to have text books on reserve in the library and to continue 24/7 access to the library during finals. For more information feel free to contact Doris at dorishelfer@ gmail.com
I’m impressed with how collaborative these solutions are, and I think they can serve as a model for others. The key is to share our successes with others and cross-pollinate good ideas across our membership.
So let me ask you this: What creative solutions have you implemented against a challenging budget?
cindy dot romaine at romainiacs dot com