Lorcan Dempsey's recent post Moving to a 'single business' systems environment provides a nice summary of a report from The National Library of Australia entitled National Library of Australia IT Architecture Project Report, March 2007. [pdf] Since I could not have summarized it any better than Lorcan has, please visit his site. Any librarian that has aspirations of leading an innovative library should read this report.
Here are a few parts of the report that I found interesting:
" The benefits of treating discovery and access as a single business cannot be overstated. It is here that most of the Library’s development effort is spent and here that there is most duplication of functionality and most need to improve the user experience if the Library is to remain relevant in a digital age.....Instead of redeveloping the same Contribute / Search / Alert / Harvest paradigms for each new application, the Library would be able to invest resources in improving the finding and getting process across all business contexts and in developing support for personalisation and user participation."
" With a single national discovery service, developers would only need to support one application. Staff would work closely together to identify priorities for the service. Users would have the same opportunities to find relevant information whether they had started the search from a generic search box or from a manuscript or pictures context or from an Internet search engine."
" The main enabler for taking a single business approach is that the Library itself has been looking at ways in which it might re-organise itself better to meet its directions and to do more with less. A physical restructure is probably needed less than a new way of sharing ideas, communicating what is happening across the Library and building up the IT literacy of all staff. The single business approach provides a way of doing this by bringing people together to work on solutions to shared problems and by enabling all staff to be involved in testing and evaluating prototypes. "
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