Innovation in Library and Information Services: a view from Dr Rama Patnaik, IIM, Bangalore
Cambridge University Press is delighted to announce that it has recently set up its South Asian Librarian Advisory Board [SALAB]. The new board, whose fourteen members are senior librarians from universities across the whole of India, enjoyed a very successful meeting in New Delhi at the end of October. Two of the board members were invited to give presentations at the meeting. The first was Dr Rama Patnaik, Librarian at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.
Dr Patnaik spoke on Innovation in Library and Information Services. She emphasised how important it is to consider an organisation’s culture when attempting to innovate. Organisation culture is crucial to nurture and encourage innovation. Academic libraries should strive to obtain an identity within the University/Institute that improves communication with the stakeholders. Both universities and libraries are hierarchical in nature, and successful decision-making should percolate through layers of hierarchy. Front-end staff often have limited power but interact most with users. It’s therefore important to promote a culture of inclusiveness when making decisions, and act on feedback from all staff; and also to recognise properly the contributions made by staff at all levels.
Innovatory practices recently developed by the Library at IIM Bangalore have included the introduction of Ezproxy for remote access in 2009 (it was the first institute in India to introduce low cost remote access facility for its online subscribed content), the initiation of a mandatory online course to help students avoid plagiarism 2017, the preparation of subject profiles and guides on how to use the content using Libguide (content management system); the creation of a comprehensive web tutorial on using copyright and licensed content for classroom instruction and personal research; the renovation of Library interiors for democratizing learning spaces and introduce a few informal spaces for community engagement; and organizational support (in the form of incentive provision) for all staff who introduce innovations either through process or service.
A demand-driven acquisitions system is complemented by lists compiled by librarians from Choice Reviews and Books in Print for strengthening its collection. Other content-inspired initiatives include the implementation of discovery services, a journals finder, resource guides, and expanding the Library’s holdings visibility in Google Scholar. The Library also makes data-driven decisions using Libinsight.