Thursday, February 12, 2009

Information Online 2009 (part 2)

This session was one that I really liked - stuff you can use, especially as libraries are often having to prove their worth, and quantitative techniques never tell the whole story. Below are my notes, but I see Nerida has submitted the whole paper, so it's worth reading that (rather than my hastily scribbled notes, badly transcribed)

Session C14 – Nerida Hart, Land and Water Australia

Evaluating information and knowledge services using narrative techniques – a case study”

This session is based on a methodology that was first used 2.5 years ago, but has been re-used numerous times since then... used in a special library, with 5 agencies, 40 staff, and 40,000 clients.

Wanted to focus on the biggest, value-added aspect of the work that they did – qualitative and improvement focussed.

Methods used were:

  • surveys

  • narrative techniques (anecdotal not stories) [Snowden, 2000.]

Cynefin complexity framework

Anecdote circles
  • explore the unexpected, and are allowed to follow tangents

  • used to related personal experiences and link events in a meaningful way

What's involved?

  • Preparation (½ a day)

  • Discovery 6-12 people (no more!) (90-120 minutes)

  • Sensemaking (1 day) – cluster by theme

  • Intervention design (? time) work out the outcomes

Sessions are recorded and transcribed (anonymised). They are facilitated by an impartial facilitator, and typically you need around 20-30 minutes before you get past the “oh, the Library's so great” phase.

Need to prove improvement, productivity.

Timing for this needs to be perfect – tackle this when there's nothing to pre-occupy members of the anecdote circle.


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