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Digital Strategy: A Challenge?

In my opinion, digital strategies are a challenge for all organizations with our fast changing world and even faster changing technology.  Our consumer practices with technology are constantly evolving and we demand the latest and greatest from all those organizations we touch — including libraries!  I am really looking forward to the Digital Strategy Summit taking place Oct 27-8 in Monterey CA co-located with Internet Librarian 2014.  This year’s summit features wonderful & knowledgable speakers including Peter Morville who has a new book  out, Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything.  

Deputy Director, National Library Board, Singapore at IFLA, Lyon 2014

Deputy Director, National Library Board, Singapore at IFLA, Lyon 2014

While at IFLA‘s World Library & Information Congress last month, I heard the Deputy Director, Kia Siang Hock, discuss the digital strategy of the National Library Board of Singapore.  The National Library Board includes one national library, one national archives and 25 public libraries.  Here’s their digital strategy:

* Unlocking the richness of unique Singapore content

* Improving findability through search engine optimization & OneSearch

* Reaching out to digital users at their preferred spaces

* Connecting content for contextual discovery

With 156% mobile penetration in their community/country, they used responsive web design to improve their site and have adopted it as a standard requirement for online services (as well as government services).  They have lots of mobile apps!  The National Library Board’s  focus on contextual discovery stems from the fact that their users collectively contribute 10s of millions of entries per year in many different languages. The National Library Board is using:

  • text analytics to identify related content
  • automatic clustering techniques to handle large data sets
  • open source software

Lessons learned that were shared:

  • start with a proof-of-concept (PoC)
  • established & affordable software in text analytics are available
  • do not simply add more hardware when hitting performance issues
  • beware of the potentially steep learning curve

With their role of connecting people to knowledge, the next steps for the National Library Board are to make it easy for information seekers and  do less searching and more analyzing.

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