Innovation in Libraries: the Harvard Library Innovation Lab

Harvard Library Innovation Lab is a project within the Harvard Law School Library for “exploring the future of libraries”. They are working in different projects that are shared freely with the community through their web.

 It can be really simple stuff, like the Hovermarks (, “bookmarks that face the spine instead of the cover” so they can highlight certain books or the Awesome Box (, a space that allows users to recommend materials.

 It can also be applications like the Library Stack , a browsing tool that combines the physical description of the materials with the circulation information to offer a different, more visual way to browse the collection or Perma, that “helps authors and journals create permanent archived citations in their published work”.

 These are just a few examples of what these people are doing, but there’s more, and there’ll be much more in the future so keep an eye on them, they look fun!


Small data and public libraries

Big data processing is a very powerful tool that has multiple applications: it can help designing marketing products, or take wiser decisions within the companies, etc.

According to ACRL, “librarians in all disciplines, in order to facilitate the research process, will need to be aware of how big data is used and where it can be found” (source).

But what about “small data”? Rufus Pollock defines it as “‘the amount of data you can conveniently store and process on a single machine, and in particular, a high-end laptop or server’.”

This excellent post at CILIP will show you how libraries can use this “local, distributed and context-rich” data to “create better user experiences and inform the development of new services and systems”.

Library volunteering: the Librarians Without Borders (LWB) organization

Librarians without borders is a non-profit organization created in 2005 by six Canadian universities “who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world”.

 They’ve launched the fifth edition of the Guatemala Service Trip. It’s a volunteering program in cooperation with the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Their main goals are support the ILS implementation and promote library use and curriculum integration.

 For those interested in the program, you can find further information here: Application Deadline is next February 18.

Latest news from the Sister Libraries Blog

This week at Sister Libraries, you’ll find information about a workshop taking place in Aveiro Municipal Library (Portugal): Readers and new technologies.

 Visit the Sister Libraries’ blog for further information.

Digital Leaders 100 Awards

The Digital Leaders 100 is an award that recognizes “leaders and organisations who demonstrate a pioneering and sustainable approach to digital transformation within the public sector”.

It was launched in 2013. They’ve just opened the call for nominations for the 2015 edition. You can send your nominations for 10 different sections before next 27th February 2015.

You can send your nominations through this page

And see the list of winners from last year’s edition here

Freedom of Access to Information and Resources (FAIR): an advocacy campaign

FAIR is an initiative from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) for advocacy in libraries and the information sector, “to give people a way to actively support all kinds of libraries including public, TAFE, university, health, law, business and government as well as our National and State Libraries”.


You can support them in different ways (subscribing to their newsletter, disseminating the campaigns on the different issues…), they want to reach 10,000 supporters by the end of 2015.

Visit their webpage and learn more about this initiative:

Supporting local music through library quality service: the Yahara Music Library

Madison Public Library  (Wisconsin) has created an online library of music where they offer free access to the creations of local musicians, along with other information about them: upcoming shows, biographies, websites, online stores where you can purchase the albums…

Together with Murfie Music, a local ”music marketplace and community”, they’ve developed an open access tool (Yahara Music Library) which can be found at github  so any library can adapt this software and replicate this idea in their own communities.

You can read more about it at their webpage:

Financial literacy

Public libraries are “uniquely situated to promote literacy” (IFLA Section on Reading) but today’s complexity demands more than reading, writing, and numeracy skills: Atomic learning has identified a list of  12 of what they call “21st century skills”, including digital citizenship, health literacy, critical thinking & problem solving, etc.

Financial literacy is one of them and can be defined as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being” (President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy).

 OECD’s PISA conducted a financial literacy assessment of students, which results were release last 19 July 2014. According to them, “helping young people understand financial issues is important, as younger generations are likely to face ever-increasingly complex financial products and services”.

There’s plenty of online resources focused on financial literacy. You can find a few of them in this article by the DEN (Discovery Education Network) where you can also find an introduction to this concept.

MAXICULTURE: maximize your collection

MAXICULTURE is a project aiming to maximize the impact of European Commission funded projects in the Digital Cultural heritage domain: (libraries, museums, audio-visual archives and archives.

 It “provides a toolkit for measuring projects’ socio-economic and technological impact and how they can best use ICT in the cultural heritage domain”.

 The MAXICULTURE idea “emerges from the consideration that there is a growing need to verify how public investment in Research and Development can guarantee effective and efficient innovation in the cultural and creative sector”.

 Find out more about this project through this link and at their website:

ALA’s survey on equity, diversity, and inclusion

Created last year, the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion aims to “develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship and our communities”.

In order to complete this task, they’re gathering information through a survey that can be accessed by anyone (members or nonmembers of ALA) through this link: before next 16th February.

 Find the complete information through this link