When librarians hear about design thinking they quite naturally ask, “Well, how would I use that at my library?”
Librarian reactions to design thinking can include vagueness, uncertainty, and even some degree of writing it off entirely because it sounds too corporate – or like some kind of business jargon.
But what most librarians want are simply examples of design thinking – in practice – in libraries.
Well, that’s exactly what they got at the March 8, 2018 Library 2.018 virtual conference, “Design Thinking: How Librarians Are Incorporating it Into Their Practice“. I was pleased to have been invited to organize the conference and the keynote panel, along with delivering a 30-minute closing summary of the conference.
The Conference was sponsored by the San Jose State University School of Information, so thanks to Sandy Hirsh and her colleagues from SJSU for choosing design thinking as one of their three Library 2.018 conferences for 2018.
You can catch the keynote panel featuring Rachel Ivy Clarke (Syracuse U), Sidsel Bech-Petersen (DOKK1 Library) and Greg Diaz (Chicago Public Library), and all the concurrent sessions. If you have a chance, check out my 30-minute closing keynote in which I attempt to summarize the conference. I come back to three main themes across the presentations:
1. Better to fail small than fail big, so take advantage of prototyping a new service or resource in your library.
2. Design thinking is about problem finding. You can’t solve the problem if you don’t truly know what the problem is (from the user perspective)
3. Design thinking is a group activity. It’s a great way to engage library staff to work together to make a better library.
Here’s the link to the conference video archive:
http://www.library20.com/page/library-2-01-design-thinking-recordings (you need to be registered and logged into Library20.com) or at the Library 2.018 YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/library20conference
While the Library 2.018 conference certainly moves the design thinking movement in librarianship in the direction of the tipping point for more widespread awareness and adoption, we are not there yet.
Happy listening – and if anyone says they don’t see how librarians would use design thinking – you know where to send them.