The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions


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Library Users: Designing/Thinking/Planning.

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This weeks topic is Design thinking, with focus on library users at the centre. The traditional way of building solutions within a library setting was done through evidence based practice, which is still very viable in many other areas of research. However the Howard reading proposes not to loose all the aspects of evidence based practise but to incorporate it into the model that has been built within design thinking.

The strengths of these two models builds a pathway for solutions, so now instead of searching for solutions in other areas, seeing how others have done it, we are now seeking ways of building solutions. Putting the user in the centre allows us to view   them which ultimately helps create new solutions as these are the people that will benefit when these problems have been addressed.

Howard looks to these two models in 6 stages and views it in a circular motion that each stage can be linked to the next or can interlink throughout each stage. He also proposes a “Ideation” stage whereby the process generates, develops and test ideas which can then be implemented as a product within a setting. This process is needed as the problems that we encounter are dubbed “Wicked Problems”  which I find really tricky to understand, you don’t know you have a problem yet you are trying to build a solution and the problem only surfaces once you have built a solution and the problem solving ends when you run out of resources????? Really, that sounds like someone chasing their tail and really not having control over a problem that is seriously affecting their institution.

So how can EBP & IUE stop this poor person from running in circles?  In looking at certain groups of people and learning how they seek information, but more importantly how they use that information. As this process happens analyse their problems and behaviours and use this analysis to build solutions to different blocks that appear along the way.

Maria made a point that all these ways of finding and building clarification within your institution is an “Ambidextrous” way of thinking,  this creative way, we as humans can develop has tremendous advantages not only to Librarians but to every field. In researching this term I came across a unique website, aimed at engineers but could be adapted within our own setting. “Ambithink” is a really good way of contextualising some chasing their tail.

Bowler also brought together all these ideas and suggests steps to focus on when users seek information, themes that are created within their search, and how we can build a structure or framework to help us see the blocks that they encounter along their information seeking journey and try and move these blocks to give the user an ease and flow to the experience.

It is a very detailed way of looking at how we as Librarians and Information Professionals go about solving issues within our organisation, and from my point of view these don’t really make sense to me at the moment as everything is on paper, it when I have these issues arise and I have to deal with them hands on then these designs will come to life and help me in mapping a pathway to the context I am in.

Ambithink I like I may seek to engineers in the future!

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