Innovation Management in Libraries

I published my presentation about innovation management in libraries – methods and trends on Slideshare. I held the presentation on May 9, 2012 at Kantonsbibliothek Chur in German. So the slides are also in German…

I can give a short abstract in English: The presentation dealt with different definitions of innovation. There are radical and incremental innovations. ETH-Bibliothek’s definition for innovation means a more incremental for (adaption of already established technologies). On the other hand the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is interested in radical innovations. An important task of innovation management is creating an innovation process. It is important to get as many ideas as possible, but to reduce them in several steps (stage-gate-process), so that only successful products are brought on the market. Another important element is the involvement of staff. One method is the introduction of internal channels to collect ideas (i.e. with an internal blog) or to create innovation circles, in which interested librarians can discuss new ideas. The main goal of the innovation process is to integrate these ideas and to define the responsibilities. At ETH-Bibliothek we tried to involve also the management team into all important decisions and milestones.

There are different models how innovation management can be organized in a library. ETH-Bibliothek created a new position of an innovation manager and a new department called Innovation and Marketing. There are other examples, where an assistant to the director is responsible for the coordination of innovation management.

I talked also about how libraries get new ideas. Of course there are a lot of creativity methods that can be adapted. But also reading trend reports (e.g. Horizon report) is an important source of new ideas.

As a summary we can say that innovation management is not only useful for big libraries. There are also simple forms (e.g. the innovation circle) that can be introduced with few resources also in smaller libraries.

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