Working with mobiles in a scientific context

Today I held a presentation about working with mobiles (especially the iPad) in an academic context at the assembly of Swiss Law Libraries in Porrentruy (canton Jura). The slides (in German) are published on SlideShare. I outlined the basic differences between working on a PC/laptop and on a tablet, namely the iPad. There are some apps you need, then it works quite well: especially Dropbox to store and access your documents from anywhere and from any device, and GoodReader to take notes and comments and to highlight in PDF files. If you are a member of a university access to licensed documents (e-books, e-journals) is easy with the integrated VPN connection. iCloud supports the synchronization of text documents (in Pages, but also in Word format), presentations (in Keynote, but also in PowerPoint format) and of spreadsheets from iPad to your PC or Mac. But iCloud is a proprietary service in the Apple ecosystem and not yet perfectly integrated into OS X. In OS Mountain Lion this issue should be solved, see „Documents in the Cloud“ on Apple’s homepage ( There are also some apps supporting e-learning – like mTouch to work with Moodle, iTunesU for podcasts or Adobe Connect to participate to distant learning and video conferencing.

And I also mentioned tools to get and share information like Flipboard, Zite and Pocket or Mendeley for reference management. As a conclusion I think that tablets support learning and teaching well, but there are always some workarounds needed, for example to exchange documents with other platforms. And typing is faster and more comfortable with a Laptop, if you don’t want to carry a bluetooth keyboard around…


OpenCourse on Horizon Report and trends in e-learning

Exciting initiative: OpenCourse 2012 takes a closer look to the most important trends in e-learning mentioned in Horizon Report 2012. You may follow the discussion (in German) on Twitter using the hashtag #opco12. It’s also interesting for librarians!

Der OpenCourse, der unter dem Titel Trends im E-Teaching – der Horizon Report unter der Lupe vom 16.4. bis 21.7.2012 im Netz stattfindet, richtet sich an alle, die sich für die Entwicklung neuer Lehr-/Lernformen interessieren. Er greift in einem 14-tägigen Rhythmus unter anderem die sechs Technologietrends auf, die im Rahmen des Horizon Report 2012 identifiziert wurden:

  • Mobile Apps
  • Tablet Computing
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Learning Analytics
  • Gesture-Based Computing
  • Internet of Things.

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.

Research Strategies

Today I worked on the new research strategy for our research field digital libraries at HTW Chur. This will be the future main focus of our activities in research in library science and also in HTW’s services for libraries. We are still discussing the details, but I am convinced that it will be a great step forward. Some of our topics are innovation in libraries, new ways of production and distribution of eBooks and their impact on libraries, semantic Web and linked open data, mobile usage of library services and much more. I’ve got the idea to develop an innovation check – a kind of maturity check for the degree of  adapting innovative tools, methods and technologies in libraries. And I didn’t forget our project technology radar…

I am also looking forward to cooperate with colleagues with different background and special know-how. And I hope that we will soon be able to publish some results.