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Libary Lab funds library innovation projects

Harvard’s new Library Lab has announced the first projects it will be funding. It’s an exciting set of projects.

The Library Innovation Lab [blog] that Kim Dulin and I co-direct had a few of its proposals accepted:

  • Library Analytics Toolkit: Tools to enable libraries to understand, analyze, and visualize the patterns of activities, including checkouts, returns, and recent acquisitions, and to do so across multiple libraries.

  • LibraryCloud Server: Build and maintain a web server that makes available to all Harvard library innovators data and metadata gathered from the Harvard libraries.

  • Library Innovation Podcasts: A series of biweekly podcast interviews with library innovators about their projects and ideas. The initial series would consist of 15 podcasts of about 20 minutes each.

We’re very excited about these, and have already begun work on them. I have a particular fondness for the LibraryCloud server, and will have more to say about it over time, for we view it ultimately as a multi-library system.

And a word of clarification. The Library Lab is part of Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication. It was created last year to create an infrastructure for library innovation at the school. The Harvard Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School Library (which is why we tend to call it LIL) is a small lab that creates applications and prototypes that try to show how libraries can bring more of their value online. If it’s a cool idea for libraries, we’ll try to build it.

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