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Winners of the S.T. Lee Innovation Grants

Seven proposals have won the first round of S.T. Lee grant funding for projects with the aim of improving access to information and the experience of using library resources at Harvard.​


Creating a Visitor Services Desk in Widener Lobby

Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Harvard College Library—Academic Programs

A pilot project of an information service point in the front lobby of Widener Library to greet, direct, and generally assist researchers and visitors at the first point of contact. The project would include a strong emphasis on assessment of user needs and outcomes associated with the shift in Information Service locale. The pilot will run for one academic year, including both a fall term and spring term. The emphasis during the project will be on user experience and assessment, with staff collecting and analyzing data and engaging with student and other researchers to gain more insight into user experiences. It will describe to us in detail user needs while it provides the new lobby with information service.


Testing How to Support Digital Humanities 

Emilie Hardman, Research, Instruction, and Digital Initiatives Librarian—Houghton Library

The initiative will conduct a needs assessment and gap analysis of digital scholarship support for arts, humanities, and social sciences at Harvard. By holding a series of structured discussions with partners across campus and piloting digital projects together with the Writing Program, we will explore ways that Harvard Library can serve as a partner to faculty and students in this area. With the aid of agile digital platforms to practice and produce digital arts and humanities work, we will engage with students and their instructors, learning what it takes to support digital humanities work.


Creating Journey Maps for User Experience 

Jessica Rios, Emerging Technologies and Assessment Librarian—Harvard Law School Library

This project will work with user experience experts to create journey maps, which show how users interact with library services and technology. Journey maps help identify areas of improvement based on documented need. After a small team of UX consultants have been trained in this method, we will be able to replicate the process and create these maps across the Harvard Library for a variety of services such as Scan and Deliver, D2D, digital suites, and the distance education research experience. The project will help document and incorporate user feedback into the service design process and provide professional development opportunities for librarians interested in expanding their skills in this field.


Born-Digital Archiving for Students 

Jane Kelly, Historical & Special Collections Assistant—Harvard Law School Library

The Harvard Community Capture project will investigate and test a customizable app that can facilitate the transfer of born-digital material from students directly to a repository. Born-digital materials such as organization meeting minutes, event videos, photos, etc., document student life and need to be preserved through a secure file transfer. The project aims to break down barriers to the digital transfer of student archival materials by developing a user-friendly app that reflects the excitement of special collections librarians and archivists to work with students.


Crowdsourcing for Image Collections 

Gwendolyn Collaco, Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art and Architecture—Harvard Fine Arts Library

The project will use the online crowd-sourcing platform Metadata Games to help with cataloging the Stuart Cary Welch Islamic and South Asian Photograph Collection. We will use a targeted campaign to select groups of scholars, librarians, students, and faculty to use their expertise in identifying images. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the collection while engaging the scholarly community to help document it. Crowdsourcing will help make these images ready and available in a shorter timeframe and provide full cataloging that is searchable by artist, repository, subject, and other access points that allow users to create their own inventories of images.


Exploring Virtual Reality for Learning 

Douglas Chan, Graduate Student—Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Maker VR Learning Project will provide students with access to virtual reality tools and research through a lending library. Technology includes eye-tracking cameras used in neuroscience, psychology, and marketing research, smartphone add-on lenses that turn a phone into a light-sensitive microscope with up to 500X magnification used in biology and earth sciences research, Circuit Scribe conductive gel pens used in physics, and cameras to record 360 degree video. Providing a space where students can link scientific and engineering concepts with a portable EEG scanner or in engineering with a programmable robot can generate ideas for novel academic or entrepreneurial ventures, such as a thesis project or a startup.   


Building a Platform for Harvard Library’s Digitized Content 

Wendy Gogel, Manager of Digital Content and Projects—Preservation, Conservation & Digital Imaging 

Experimenting with open-source technologies, the project will create a demonstration of a digital library that enables users to search and browse Harvard Library’s digital content and to explore curator-created collections and exhibitions. The Digital Repository Service houses a wealth of digitized primary-source material from the Library’s special collections and archives such as artwork, rare books, manuscripts, letters, maps, historical photographs, and streaming audio, yet users must search for these materials by navigating multiple online guides and sorting through HOLLIS+ records that also include non-digitized items. The goal of this project is to show the benefits of providing a single point of access to Harvard’s digital resources in order to help make it easier for the academic community to use these resources and for the public to discover them.


Written by Harvard Library Communications.

Published on November 30, 2016