Head, Technical and Digital Services
University of Limerick
In late September 2019, a group of 16 librarians, developers, archivists, curators and academics from around the world landed in Doha, Qatar, to embark on a Book Sprint. Together, in five long days, they wrote a book called “Open a GLAM Lab” to galvanize and shape the emerging labs community. Digital or innovation “labs” in library or museum settings have been around for about 10 years. The lab is usually a place for experimenting with digital collections in novel ways to reach new audiences or to explore new technologies. These, sometimes temporary, teams within a library, archives, or museum/gallery (GLAM) can support a range of internal and external digital services and programs. The book attempts to capture an aspirational set of themes: being open to experimentation, risk-taking, iteration, innovation, and transformation. The process allowed participants to actively reflect on and problematize their work in digital cultural heritage innovation labs. It is hoped that the book will act as a provocation to further work in the area and expand the global community of practice. The briefing will share more details about the Book Sprint methodology and the contents of the book itself, which was released publicly during Open Access Week, October 21-27, 2019. The book is a collective product with contributions from Mahendra Mahey (British Library), Abigail Potter (Library of Congress), Aisha Al-Abdulla (Qatar University Library), Armin Straube (UCL Qatar), Caleb Derven (University of Limerick), Ditte Laursen (The Royal Danish Library), Gustavo Candela (Fundacion Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes), Katrine Gasser (The Royal Danish Library), Kristy Kokegei (History Trust of South Australia), Lotte Wilms (KB National Library of the Netherlands), Milena Dobreva-McPherson (UCL Qatar), Paula Bray (State Library of New South Wales), Sally Chambers (Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, Ghent University), Sarah Ames (National Library of Scotland), Sophie-Carolin Wagner (Austrian National Library) and Stefan Karner (Austrian National Library).