We are building an infrastructure and a community that will bring ideas to light and people together—making innovation an integral property of the Harvard Library.
The goal of the Harvard Library Innovation Initiative is to continuously improve the products and services for students, faculty and researchers who rely on and benefit from the Harvard Library.
How Might the Future Harvard Library Look?
- There are known paths by which ideas can be raised, developed, implemented and maintained.
- Innovation is supported whether it comes from people who have the skills and time to implement their idea, or from those who have a good idea but neither time nor skills to implement it.
- Being innovative is rewarded, even if ideas don't make it all the way into production.
- The University officially and culturally embraces creativity as a good in itself, not only as a means of generating useful end products.
- The Library's data, content, metadata and expertise are made maximally available for the development of new ideas (within the limits of privacy, license and copyright).
- There is a lively and supportive community of innovators across the entire University.
- There is a hub that engages in advanced research in areas related to library innovation and provides support for good ideas from the community.
- The community and the organizational entity engage with the worldwide community of library innovators as well as with the local community.
- Innovators want to work here.
What Works? What Doesn't?
- The Harvard community includes some of the most innovative people in the world.
- The Harvard Library staff is unsurpassed in its knowledge, expertise and professionalism.
- The resources of the Harvard Library—content, metadata, services—are substantial.
- It has become increasingly clear that the Harvard Library values innovation and collaboration.
- Innovators are spread out across the University, often unknown to one another.
- The processes by which ideas are noticed, selected for development and evaluated are ad hoc.
- There are few resources available to develop good ideas.
- There is no known path by which an idea once developed can be maintained as a permanent part of the Library infrastructure.
- People’s job requirements do not make it easy to pursue innovative ideas.
- The pursuit of innovation—leading to a successful project or not—is not routinely rewarded or acknowledged.
- Harvard has a poor record as a collaborator within the worldwide library ecology.
- There is no institutional place within Harvard that focuses on library innovation—both development and research.
Library Innovation Initiative Advisory Group and Team
The Library Innovation Initiative Advisory Group provides oversight of innovation projects and guides the work of the Innovation Initiative Team. Its members are
Mary Lee Kennedy, Senior Associate Provost for the Harvard Library
Anne Margulies, Chief Information Officer
Stuart Schieber, Professor of Computer Science; Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication
Gosia Stergios, Knowledge and Information Program Strategist
Jim Waldo, Chief Technology Officer
The Library Innovation Initiative Team is charged with coming up with processes and structures that will enable new ideas to be developed and implemented, encourage an inclusive community of innovators to flourish, establish a hub of research and development that expands current horizons and collaborate with the world wide web of library innovators.
Kim Dulin (Chair), Co-Director, Library Innovation Lab
Jeff Goldenson, Designer, Library Innovation Lab
Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager, Office for Scholarly Communication
Matthew Sheehy, Head of Access Services
Gosia Stergios, Knowledge and Information Programs Strategist
Sue Walsh, Managing Director of Infrastructure
David Weinberger, Co-Director, Library Innovation Lab