International Conference on Libraries 2017

Starting Lean Locally

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A common misconception when comes to applying Lean principles and ideas in an organization and in our particular case, libraries, is that in order to start seeing benefits the entire library must adopt all of these ideas by restructure all of its existing departments, and reporting lines. You can start small with Lean in various sub-divisions of the library. In my own experience, library systems and cataloging are good candidates to start transforming into a Lean learning library.

Library Systems and Technology

What tools are available to allow libraries to respond to the specific demands
of their patrons?

Our current catalogs and collections represent more than just physical or digital objects but a rich source of relationships and information that although this is currently and overwhelming encoding as MARC21 or other variants across the world. The theory and practice of lean libraries has driven a very iterative development cycle in my own research and development of the Catalog Pull Platform which is moving towards unlocking and expanding this knowledge in our current library catalogs into the form of Linked Data

Linked Data is about representing information in RDF Triples i.e. subject-predicate-object like BIBFRAME and RDA and MARC can also be reformulated into Linked Data triples as well. Linked data is a way to structure information more consumable and interoperability with other systems.

Colorado College's Electronic Thesis Submission Application

Colorado College Logo

This Lean example draws from my experiences of iteratively developing over the past six years a web application for Colorado College's Seniors. This application allows Senior to self-submit their thesis and any accompanying datasets, audio, or video into Colorado College's digital repository as a permanent, stable intellectual property of both the college and the student. You can see the application at

Every year, we go through a BML loop, starting with improving the existing application during the fall Build phase, which moves into the Measure phase when student's start submitting their theses with the Learn phase in finishing in the spring and summer.

In the latest 2016-2017 academic year, the CCETD app added a new login process that used the campus LDAP servers instead of what we were using before. The second major improvement was to the app's web forms. Instead of configuration files, we now uses RDF graphs to represent the facts about the college and the relationships between departments and faculty that we can leverage in other uses in the library, like enhancing our digital repository and online catalog.

Colorado College's ETD application's open source code repository is available at