So much work to do, so little time. But what keeps us focused as we work to make a wealth of resources available via the web? It often comes down to a willingness to collaborate and a commitment to a common vision.
Staying focused through vision and values
When Duke University Libraries embarked on our 2012-2013 website redesign, we created a vision and values statement that became a guidepost during our decision making. It worked so well for that single project, that we later decided to apply it to current and future web projects. You can read the full statement on our website, but here are just a few of the key ideas:
- Put users first.
- Verify data and information, perpetually remove outdated or inaccurate data and content, & present relevant content at the point of need.
- Strengthen our role as essential partners in research, teaching, and scholarly communication: be a center of intellectual life at Duke.
- Maintain flexibility in the site to foster experimentation, risk-taking, and future innovation.
As we decide which projects to undertake, what our priorities should be, and how we should implement these projects, we often consider what aligns well with our vision and values. And when something doesn’t fit well, it’s often time to reconsider.
Team work, supporting and balancing one another
Vision counts, but having people who collaborate well is what really enables us to maintain focus and to take a coherent approach to our work.
A number of cross-departmental teams within Duke University Libraries consider which web-based projects we should undertake, who should implement them, when, and how. By ensuring that multiple voices are at the table, each bringing different expertise, we make use of the collective wisdom from within our staff.
The Web Experience Team (WebX) is responsible for the overall visual consistency and functional integrity of our web interfaces. It not only provides vision for our website, but actively leads or contributes to the implementation of numerous projects. Sample projects include:
- The introduction of a new eBook service called Overdrive
- The development of a new, Bento-style, version of our search portal to be released in August
- Testing the usability of our web interfaces with patrons leading to changes such as the introduction of a selectable default search tab
Members of WebX are Aaron Welborn, Emily Daly, Heidi Madden, Jacquie Samples, Kate Collins, Michael Peper, Sean Aery, and Thomas Crichlow.
While we love to see the research community using our collections within our reading rooms, we understand the value in making these collections available online. The Advisory Committee for Digital Collections (ACDC) decides which collections of rare material will be published online. Members of ACDC are Andy Armacost, David Pavelich, Jeff Kosokoff, Kat Stefko, Liz Milewicz, Molly Bragg, Naomi Nelson, Valerie Gillispie, and Will Sexton.
The Digital Collections Implementation Team (DCIT) both guides and undertakes much of the work needed to digitize and publish our unique online collections. Popular collections DCIT has published include:
Members of DCIT are Erin Hammeke, Mike Adamo, Molly Bragg, Noah Huffman, Sean Aery, and Will Sexton.
These groups have their individual responsibilities, but they also work well together. The teamwork extends beyond these groups as each relies on individuals and departments throughout Duke Libraries and beyond to ensure the success of our projects.
Most importantly, it helps that we like to work together, we value each other’s viewpoints, and we remain connected to a common vision.