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Posted July 3, 2019

From the Director: On the Road to a More User-Friendly GALILEO

Lucy HarrisonAs we enter the third year of our strategic plan, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year. I’m thrilled at the progress we’ve been able to make so far, and look forward to working with you to making GALILEO even better next year!

Our in-depth strategic planning in 2017 clearly showed that we needed to focus on developing a more user-friendly experience for the GALILEO portal. A foundational platform for this is OpenAthens, our new authentication model. Most higher-ed libraries will be moved over to OpenAthens this summer, with GPLS following in the fall and early spring, and then K-12 libraries.

We’re looking to take advantage of this and other tools to completely redesign the GALILEO research portal…and as part of that effort, we’ve also put in place a new user-centered and agile design methodology. Our new GALILEO Development Advisory Committee has been hard at work on developing user “personas” that will help guide that development. Soon we’ll be looking to get feedback from you all on what that new design (or designs) might look like…stay tuned!

We also want to ensure that we are providing a robust set of electronic resources that meet the lifelong learning needs of all Georgians. We now have several e-resources advisory groups in place, and after some seriously in-depth evaluation, they recommended some significant changes and improvements this year. We were able to negotiate some great deals, upgrade content for everyone, and switch out some lesser-used resources for content that will better meet your patrons’ needs. This work will continue next year, expanding to the evaluation of open resources, and we’re also planning to implement a new e-resource management tool that we think will help provide an easier and more transparent experience for opt-in licensing.

Following the retirement of Karen Minton, we were fortunate to hire Joy Woodson as our new Assistant Director for Marketing Communications. Joy has quickly come up to speed on what makes Georgia libraries tick, and she is bringing her substantial past experience to bear on developing data-driven marketing and communications strategies. She’ll be working hard to streamline communications and increase our engagement with you all…she’s especially interested in reaching out to K-12 libraries and boosting our partnership work with other library groups. We’ll also be taking a closer look at our training programs this coming year, and hope to update our training portal with some great new content.

Through all our planning and development, we try to keep you – the library staff and the patrons you serve – first and foremost in our minds. As I mentioned above, we’ll soon be reaching out to share our plans for a freshly redesigned GALILEO portal. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming GALILEO Annual Conference, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime if you have other ideas we should look into. In the meantime, we’ll keep moving forward together!

Lucy Harrison is assistant vice chancellor for academic library services and executive director of GALILEO.