Current Ideas

1. Brainstorm session with researchers and librarians

The brainstorming session with the MPI researchers and guests took place on 30 September 2016. 

The question we asked was: What library services would you like to see in our library within the next three to five years?

However, the answers showed that the participants answered a broader question, like What should be improved at the MPI to enable you to do a better research?

Methodology We followed the methodology of IDEO “Design thinking for librarians’. The participants follow simple rules during the brainstorm. They build on each other’s ideas and aim at reaching a certain number of ideas, 60 in this case. At the end of the session, each participant distributes his/her 5 votes to the ideas he/she wants to support. It is allowed to give all your votes to one idea.

In this way we have the researchers’ TOP 10. The librarians discussed all ideas in a separate session and voted to select also their TOP 10. On the basis of the researchers’ and the librarians’ votes, a common list was compiled with the TOP 10 ideas. You can see above a word cloud of all ideas – words occurring more frequently are bigger.

Follow-up The brainstorm session is a valuable source to develop the library and other institutional services’ blueprint for the next years. Every idea is categorized in one of 13 categories, like Collection, Visibility, IT, etc.

The issues within the immediate responsibility of the library have been marked according to their status of implementation – already implemented, for immediate-, short- or long-term action. We will send a follow-up to the participants by the end of this year. Many of the participants expressed their wish to have such a brainstorm session every year, so we will do it.  

2.   RFID Robots in libraries

Extensive research has been done regarding suitable robots to perform some time consuming library functions such as inventory. What has been discovered so far is that except for one company focusing on developing AuRoSS robots specifically for library usage, none of the other robots have been customized for libraries presently. However our tests showed that the TORY robot manufactured by MetraLabs GmbH, a German company is ideal for using in libraries.

A total of 35,118 tagged books are estimated to have been in the library premises when TORY performed the inventory. Out of this total TORY was able to read 34,805 tags. This gives a read accuracy (RA) of 99.1%.

Presentations about robotics technology in libraries were part of the Library conference "Innovation in Libraries".

An article on RFID robots use in libraries incl. LIKE test results is accessible here.

TORY robot at MPI Library (video)

3.     Patron Acquisition Requests in the Aleph Web OPAC

How to automatically check if a book, recommended for acquisition by a patron, is already in the library collection. The aim is to improve the process and automatically create an order.

4.     Classification Knowledge Base (CKB)

CKB is a collaborative platform, enabling librarians and researchers to be consistent in indexing practices, search subjects headings (descriptors) and search the OPAC via a specific subject heading. The current version of MPI Classification can be found here.

 

Please, share with us your comments on the current ideas!