Reading this fun article about the 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft, I was impelled to draw parallels between libraries and game designers.
Designing ambitious and popular games isn’t too far removed from outlining and implementing efficient library services. Many of the concepts that have made the World of Warcraft so successful, may well be useful to librarians looking for ways to shake up their possibly “dusty” services. Though detailed by Blizzard executives in the original article, here are the 11 points:
- Rely on Critics
- Use Your Own Product (Meaning try what you give to users for yourself)
- Make Continual Improvements
- Go Back to the Drawing Board
- Design for Different Kinds of Customers
- The Importance of Frequent Failures
- Move Quickly, In Pieces
- Statistics Bolster Experience
- Demand Excellence or You’ll Get Mediocrity
- Create a New Type of Product (Or to me, don’t be afraid to do so.)
- Offer Employees Something Extra
I know I may be a bit biased due to my fascination with Warcraft, but watching the game evolve around the players seems on par with the more modern “user centered” library mantras.
“Inside Innovation with Colin Stewart » Blog Archive » 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft – OCRegister.Com.” http://innovation.freedomblogging.com/2008/04/04/11-innovation-lessons-from-creators-of-world-of-warcraft/ (accessed 4/7/2008, 2008).
The down time I experienced over the past few weeks was due to a career shift. As of April 1st, I am now the new Assessment Librarian for the University of Pittsburgh. What that means is that I have been charged with finding solutions needed to better assess the services provided by the library.
Hopefully the direction of this blog won’t shift too much from the original focus, but I would wager that more posts involving assessment may begin to pop-up.
If you or your library have any information you feel a new assessment librarian would be crazy to be without, feel free to send me a link or comment on this post.
To get the full effect you may want to glance at this article first.
To be honest, I was hoping to see a punch line at the end of this article, so that the rather outlandish points delivered by the author could be accounted to blatant humor. Unfortunately it didn’t come and what lay before me was a piece of paranoid rhetoric that warned of the impending “end of days” for the professional librarian. True these are opinions but the knee-jerk reactions to the actions of new library leaders struggling to find a new voice for their libraries is shocking and without reason. Why wouldn’t we need to rethink our practices if the audience has changed its own vision for the library? In some libraries they constantly fight a battle to draw back their population from the migration to the “bookstore” or seclusion of the at home online experience. Even reference services are seeing a downturn in numbers, which could be a factor in their management’s decision to try something new and unexpected. What follows are my free flowing retorts to the article entitled “Blatant Berry: The Vanishing Librarians” published on LibraryJournal.com, 02/15/2008.
After reading several recent blog posts on employee retention and management issues, I began to look at just what my feelings were towards the current state of library management trends.
This topic started with a post on Library Garden entitled Do we encourage our employees to leave? In this posting the author weighs the factors in the sometimes short turnover in staff and the self-promotional nature of librarianship. One wonderfully put statement was:
If your system sees people leave and then watches them flourish in another position, you shouldn’t brag that “they started off in this system.” It should raise questions as to why your system couldn’t seem to hold on to him/her.