Collaboration & Communication Tools used by Biodiversity Heritage Library Refining Strategies for Success Trish Rose-Sandler Center for Biodiversity Informatics, Missouri Botanical Garden 4344 Shaw Blvd. St. Louis, MO Keri Thompson Smithsonian Institution Libraries NMNH, 10th and Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC William Ulate, Center for Biodiversity Informatics, Missouri Botanical Garden 4344 Shaw Blvd. St. Louis, MO Martin Kalfatovic Smithsonian Institution Libraries NMNH, 10th and Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC Constance Rinaldo, Ernst Mayr Library, MCZ, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA| BHL-EuropeCollaboration and Communication within the Organization Collaboration and Communication with UsersThe Biodiversity Heritage Library is a global initiative of collaborating projects and activities User input is given equal weight as input from BHL staff and oftentimesthat seeks to digitize, preserve and make available to the world the legacy literature of users suggestions result in newly available content or user interfacebiodiversity. What started as a consortium of 10 natural history, research and botanical changes within days or weeks rather than months or years. In this waylibraries in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2005 has now grown to 14 users feel they are active contributors to the BHL rather than just passivemembers as of January 2012. BHL now includes collaborating projects in Europe, users of its content and become much more invested in its success andAustralia, China, Brazil, and Egypt with over40 individual institutions as members. longevity.Adoption of collaboration tools among BHL partners, both freely available and commercialand employment of those tools in sometimes non-traditional ways, has enabled a virtualorganization to perform as effectively as a non-virtual organization. In recognition of itsoutstanding collaborative partnerships, the BHL received the Outstanding CollaborationCitation Award in 2010 from the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, adivision of the American Library Association. The BHL ‘s loosely coupled Skype US-AUS operational structure allows for nimbleness of decision making. As a result, BHL has been able to respond to its users and the needs of the biodiversity community much more quickly. Planning and Feedback is solicited consensus are achieved by informally via social media and Skype PRC-US Skype VA-MO balancing the use of informal in person at conferences, and Synchronous and formal, synchronous and formally via surveys and forms Regular conference calls are communication via asynchronous tools. The same which feed into our issue scheduled for administrative, tracking system. Skype to global balance is sought when technical and workflow groups in partners, often enabled BHL-US/UK. Over 30 staff in 4 time communicating with users. by caffeine. Informal channels such as All data from BHL, such as OCR text, bibliographic information and zones call in. There are also email lists for each group. twitter enable quick responses taxonomic names are available openly for reuse and repurposing via to requests and suggestions, API or download. Numerous projects have taken advantage of BHL’s while formal surveys, logged open data and some have even developed applications that re- feedback, and structured contextualize it such as the Encyclopedia of Life, BioStor and interviews allow us to analyze Synynyms. how BHL content and tools are BHL is now looking to being used. incorporate such user created or enhanced content into our existing BHL staff wiki use offerings to further enrich 90000 our services. In this way 80000 70000 edits the crowdsourced data Yearly face to face technical and administrative 60000 completes an object’s 50000 meetings for global partners as well as US/UK 40000 page members let staff get to know each other, and facilitate 30000 “digital content life cycle” views efficient planning, prioritizing and work distribution. 20000 10000 whose primary processes 0 include: creation, management, discovery, BHL Australia BHL at a glance: 2006: 10 member institutions, 42 participating staff use and reuse. Asynchronous methods such as email, 1735 volumes, 720,000 pages online Google docs and wikis are used to document 2012: 40 member institutions, 140+ participating staff issues and decisions and serve as an informal 106,000 volumes, 39 million pages online Putting content on flickr encourages discovery & knowledge base for the virtual organization re-use of images by the general public.