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Testing Our Assumptions: The Centrality of Design Thinking and Scholarship for the Future of Library Practice

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Research libraries are vital infrastructure enabling the development and dissemination of knowledge. They are simultaneously essential to the function of institutions of learning and themselves institutions that must grow and learn. In this context, librarianship must involve dynamic and empirically driven applied research and testing to improve our knowledge ecosystem. This talk explores how developments in human centered design, systems thinking for social change, frameworks for collaborative applied research, and service design can inform a general approach to the role of librarians in research institutions. Collectively, these areas of work support a vision of librarians at research institutions as both enablers of knowledge production and producers of essential new knowledge and scholarship.

Slides for the Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum at the University of Maryland.

Published in: Design
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Testing Our Assumptions: The Centrality of Design Thinking and Scholarship for the Future of Library Practice

  1. 1. TESTING OUR ASSUMPTIONS THE CENTRALITY OF DESIGN THINKING AND SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE FUTURE OF LIBRARY PRACTICE
  2. 2. ROADMAP - Context on where I’m coming from - Design, Projects, and Scholarship - 6 Books That Chart an Model - Values, Librarianship, & Infrastructure - Next Steps for Individuals and Organizations
  3. 3. CONTEXT ON WHERE I’M COMING FROM
  4. 4. DESIGN, PROJECTS, SCHOLARSHIP • Research libraries are vital infrastructure enabling the development and dissemination of knowledge. • They are simultaneously essential to the function of institutions of learning and themselves institutions that must grow and learn. • In this context, librarianship must involve dynamic and empirically driven applied research and testing to improve our knowledge ecosystem.
  5. 5. 6 BOOKS THAT CHART THE MODEL
  6. 6. USER CENTERED DESIGN AS GUIDING FRAMEWORK
  7. 7. HOLISTIC ECOSYSTEM MAPPING (ANALOG & DIGITAL)
  8. 8. A WELL DEFINED TOOLKIT
  9. 9. THE TOOLKIT IS ALSO THE FUTURE OF RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP
  10. 10. CENTRALITY OF “PROJECTS” IN THE DIGITAL HUMANITIES
  11. 11. SCRUM PROVIDES THE RHYTHM
  12. 12. ASSUME COMPLEXITY IN SYSTEMS
  13. 13. Values, Librarianship, & Infrastructure
  14. 14. Shilton, K. “Values Levers: Building Ethics into Design,” Science, Technology & Human Values 38, no. 3 (May 1, 2013): 375, doi:10.1177/0162243912436985. “values held by designers affect how information technologies are imagined; how systems handle data, create categories, and draw inferences; and what affordances are available for user interaction.” VALUES IN DESIGN
  15. 15. ALA VALUES Access Confidentiality and privacy Democracy Diversity Education and lifelong learning Intellectual freedom Public good Preservation Professionalism Service Social responsibility SAA VALUES Access and use Accountability Advocacy Diversity History and memory Preservation Professionalism Responsible custody Selection Service Social responsibility
  16. 16. NEXT STEPS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS 1. Reframe ongoing work as places to iterate and experiment on improving design of entire user ecosystem 2. Make design practice your scholarship and research 3. Include values and resources in your practice and think broadly about system level impacts 4. Explore scrum as rhythm for organizing teams and work

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