by Victoria Harriston, Washington DC Chapter
Innovation, always on my mind, sitting in traffic and yes even in my sleep. Why? Because I know that no matter what our Research Center is doing there’s always room for improvement, to be better than we are. Nothing earth-shattering here, just a few thoughts and musings on innovations that have given our Library/Research Center greater visibility from the top down, fostered increased demand for our expertise and services and kicked the value of our contributions to the organization up more than a couple of notches.
One of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the organization and really get to know your stakeholders is to start a Liaison Program. No huge start-up effort and the rewards are a win-win for everyone. Know what’s going on within your organization, recognize and seize business opportunities.
Every librarian is a business entrepreneur. You’d be amazed how forming partnerships opens innovation doors. Partnership with our Staff Development Programs office gave us the financial support for our successful training program.
Advocate for your stakeholders. If your organization publishes reports organize public Forum events and invite internal staff contributors to speak. Spend time learning about programs or events within your organization to get the library involved. We regularly participate in our Graduate Fellows program. Showcase library value, publish an Impact Report (saved project staff 20 research hours, proposal research contributed to new project funding, citation analysis validated key report recommendations).
Gather those publisher backfile collections and create an Intellectual Heritage Vault. Innovation includes not reinventing the wheel (if you don’t have to!). Use publisher online tutorials for databases, use your Delicious guides as classroom instructor tools.
Victoria Harriston is Manager, at the George E. Brown, Jr. Research Center, National Academy of Sciences. Her 35 year career includes several management positions in special, corporate and academic libraries and serving for 2-years as Public Relations, News Bureau Manager for a telecommunications company.