A couple months back on the airplane, I made a version of this list. Some loose observations/questions about the Lab, what we’ve been focusing on, what we could be looking at…

  1. Measuring success—What constitutes a successful project? What is our (LIL) metric?

  2. Off-line innovation—We’re focusing on software & data, how can we expand our scope offline?

  3. Voyeurism sells—Our most successful endeavors (as measured by eliciting a response [IMO]) have pulled back the curtain, allowing people to “see in” the library. People are curious, how can we leverage this voyeurism to make great projects?

  4. See our assets with fresh eyes—Libraries have several amazing assets to leverage for innovation (that start-ups could only dream of):
    • central location—public libraries, private ones, academic - libraries are always sited at the heart of everything

    • librarians—an interested community, a live and in-person customer support staff

    • strong user base—a community of patrons

    • transaction data—we can still identify trends, learn about the community while respecting privacy

    • trust—people trust libraries and librarians as purveyors

    • inventory—stuff (books, dvds, mags, kindles?) people want, for “free trial”

  5. The Library experience—Libraries, in general, have looked the same for quite a while. The experience visiting a library, the services provided, the look hasn’t changed too much. What would the most far-out, radical library be?

  6. Future—The future of the library is not the future of the book. But how is it not?

  7. A culture of innovation—How can we, as a Lab, both advance large projects, while also pursuing smaller ideas and experiments?