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Library Winners of the President's Administrative Innovation Fund

Harvard Library collaborative projects are among the winners of the first President’s Administrative Innovation Fund. 


Two projects involving Harvard Library, “Building a Participant Pool for Internal Accessibility Testing at Harvard” and “Launch ASC (the Analytics Staff Consortium),” are among the winners of the President’s Administrative Innovation Fund. This new grant funds innovative ways to accomplish administrative work at the University in the fields of academic administration, service delivery, and talent development.

The first proposal, “Building a Participant Pool for Internal Accessibility Testing at Harvard,” will connect Harvard affiliates to user-experience testing participants with disabilities who are expert users of assistive technology. These individuals will help Harvard to improve accessibility testing on a consistent basis and can be recruited to test Harvard websites for compliance. The project team includes Amy Deschenes, Kris Markman, Maura Ferrarrini, and Leah Yoffe from the Digital Learning & User Experience Team at Harvard Library, Janet Taylor from Library Technology Services, Vittorio Buchieri from Harvard University Information Technology, Michele Clopper from Harvard University Disability Services, and Kyle Shachmut from HarvardX.  

With its focus on recruiting assistive technology users, this new project will create partnerships with local community-based organizations and give Harvard the ability to test interfaces for accessibility compliance across a variety of departments.

“The University will benefit from this project by transforming staff personal connections into an institutional relationship with this underserved population,” said Amy Deschenes, User Experience Specialist, Harvard Library. “By building this relationship, we will be able to create and promote a culture of systematic accessibility testing.”

The “Launch ASC (the Analytics Staff Consortium)” project’s goal is to create the Analytics Staff Consortium, a group that would promote collaboration for Harvard staff who work with analytics, improve efficiency and quality of analytic functions, and provide professional development opportunities. This collaborative project involves thirty-four individuals from eleven offices across the University, including Alumni Affairs & Development, Harvard Library, Harvard Human Resources, Institutional Research, and Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning.

A growing number of Harvard staff now work with analytics. The project will help bring them together as tools rapidly improve and analytics are used with increasing frequency to make critical decisions. Harvard Library’s involvement will be through the role of the assessment librarian.

Article written by Harvard Library Communications.

Article published on August 17, 2016.