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June 10, 2007

Innovative Service - Promise and Deliver

As part of our overlapping strategic planning and budgeting processes at UIUC this year, the University Library promised to design and deliver "innovative services" to our users. A broadly-worded promise, I know, but, every now and again, we really see it.

This week, we saw it in the launch of the UIUC Library Search application for our (many) users of Facebook.

For those who haven't followed the story, Facebook "opened up" its data late last month to allow its users to develop new applications that individuals could adopt to customize their Facebook experience. Many of these are "fun" applications that allow you to share personal information differently, but librarians were quick to ask how this might be turned into an opportunity to take library services to where our users are. Edward Vielmetti, known in the library world as "Superpatron," asked us on May 27th to put the catalog in Facebook, and, as of June 8th, we had done it.

In just a few days, over 60 people have added UIUC Library Search to their Facebook accounts, and our work has been noted in a number of blogs, including here, here, and here.

Kudos to David Ward for bringing Search Assistant into Facebook, and to all the people who have been critical to the development and promotion of the Search Assistant applications at UIUC, including Bill Mischo, Lisa Hinchliffe, and many others. This is "innovative service" at its best, and I look forward to sharing its results when preparing that report for the Provost next Spring!

Posted by swalter at June 10, 2007 8:53 AM

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