SPLAT: Innovative Collaboration in Idaho's Libraries

Memo Cordova, Amy Vecchione

Abstract


Libraries face shrinking budgets, increased use, and user demand for trendy resources.  This makes it difficult for librarians to find the time to keep current with innovative library trends, such as technological tools and social media developments.  The Special Projects Library Action Team (SPLAT) offers a new model for enhancing library services. SPLAT is a group supported by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICFL), the state agency responsible for assisting libraries.  The members of SPLAT are innovation representatives who search and experiment with social media trends and online tools, and share the best ways to integrate them into services at all types of libraries.  SPLAT members have developed SPLAT 101, an online class geared towards teaching library staff new Web technologies.  Members also present about trends at conferences, blog relevant content, and engage in peer-to-peer education--all meant to demystify and exploit emergent technologies.  These efforts have yielded enhanced library services, encouraged changes to policies, and increased positive user experiences.  In this article we summarize how SPLAT works, explain how SPLAT has helped Idaho's libraries experiment with evolving services, analyze the success of SPLAT as a model for other states, and discuss future steps.


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ISSN: 1947-525X