SXSW Interactive 2014

Honk If You Love Library Innovation

Harvard University is home to one the world’s great libraries. Recently it has gone through a huge culture shift by embracing change, innovation and openness. Harvard Library Lab has been sponsoring bottom-up projects ranging from a JetBlue style of selecting study carrels to Library Cloud, a multi-library data service. This change in culture has come from every segment of the school’s population. It’s embodied in improvements in processes, but also in a pop-up library space (“The Labrary”) designed by students, in the Awesome Box for books that are, well, awesome, and in putting into the public domain the largest set of bibliographic data in history. In fact, we hope to travel to Austin in the Library Innovation Truck, stopping along the way to have library innovation swaps. In our session, we’ll explore what it takes to change an institutional culture that has been resistant to change because of its success.

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  1. What are the best ways to start a culture change?
  2. What can attendees do to start making changes locally?
  3. How can libraries change to meet the needs of their community?
  4. How can we celebrate failures as part of the risk of trying new things?
  5. What haven’t we considered yet in order to keep the change going?


  • Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager, Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University
  • Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University
  • Sebastian Diaz, Chief Geek, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University


Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager, Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University

Meta Information:

  • Tags: innovation, libraries
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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