We’re back

Ever since its author was appointed as a professor of library science at HTW Chur in May 2012, the blog Innovation@ETH-Bibliothek has gone quiet. ETH-Bibliothek would like to take this opportunity to thank Rudolf Mumenthaler once again for his broad dedication in the field of innovation management. For this blog, which primarily used to be shaped by one author, this change marks a breakthrough. And seeing as we’re convinced that we’re unable do it exactly like we used to, we will be venturing into unknown territory from now on.

Over the last few weeks, the blog’s focus, range of topics and possible authors have been discussed at ETH-Bibliothek. In particular, concerns have repeatedly been voiced over whether a library blog places too heavy a burden on itself under the banner of  “Innovation”.The term sounds grand, raises high expectations and promises complete solutions. The everyday reality of academic libraries today, however, is marked by an ongoing tense relationship: on the one hand, in our daily activities we facilitate a searching look back. On the other hand, we develop new services to carry on living up to our responsibilities in the interests of our users in future. This is a daily balancing act between our role as a custodian of knowledge and cultural heritage that has been handed down, and the goal of being an innovative force in the field of knowledge retention and access. Moreover, the resources available provide the framework. Although not all ideas can be realised in this context, solutions are always found that are geared towards the users’ needs and actively cultivated.

We are all working to make ETH-Bibliothek fit for the future. New developments are so crucial here that there will still be plenty of topics to discuss under the heading “Innovation@ETH-Bibliothek”. This objective gains added emphasis through the firm anchoring of innovation management in ETH-Bibliothek’s organisation. But not only should innovations that are clearly visible externally be mentioned at this point; we also look at innovative approaches found on a small scale. Furthermore, we would like to address topics that appear on the horizon and use them to underscore where we stand with regard to current technical developments and changes in user behaviour. From now on, these topics will be discussed by various authors. They all offer an insight into topics related to their daily work and offer assessments based on their own experience in the field.

We look forward to interesting, varied and perhaps sometimes even controversial contributions from our authors. And if our readers – whether they be from a library background, the academic community or simply people who take an interest in our topics – feel like joining in the discussion, the aim of this blog will have been achieved. After all, we’re convinced that discussion is a key driver of Innovation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.

DOI Link: 10.16911/ethz-ib-937-en

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