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Becoming a Lean Library - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843347798, 9781780634609

Becoming a Lean Library

1st Edition

Lessons from the World of Technology Start-ups

Author: Jeremy Nelson
Paperback ISBN: 9781843347798
eBook ISBN: 9781780634609
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 7th December 2015
Page Count: 156
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Becoming a Lean Library: Lessons from the World of Technology Start-ups provides a guide to the process and approach necessary to manage product development.

Using techniques and philosophies pioneered by Toyota's lean manufacturing success, Becoming a Lean Library provides library leadership advice and tips on making the library more nimble, lean, and responsive to technological change.

Early chapters introduce the reader to the idea of lean start-ups in libraries, followed by chapters covering library systems, lessons from lean manufacturing, and the build-measure-learn model. Remaining chapters discuss technology change and DevOps as a lean strategy, while also giving the reader the opportunity to earn a professional online "badge" on the subject material of the book.

Key Features

  • Introduces lean startup and lean manufacturing theory and practice
  • Applies Lean Startup Principles to Libraries
  • Allows readers to earn two Openbadges to demonstrate professional education accomplishment through social networking and for compensation purposes
  • Only book in its market that illustrates lean principles at work


Library administration responsible for the success of library technical services and systems, graduates and researchers in the area of lean start-up and technical project management.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • About the Author
  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
    • 1.1. Purpose
    • 1.2. Language and Organization of the Book
    • 1.3. Catalog Pull Platform
    • 1.4. Learner and Library Leadership Badges
    • 1.5. Memory Institutions are Learning Organizations
    • 1.6. The Lean Learning Library
  • Chapter 2. Organizing Libraries
    • 2.1. Tracking the Book’s Future
    • 2.2. Power and Culture
    • 2.3. The Importance of Diverse Voices
    • 2.4. The Long Tail of Library Services Demand
    • 2.5. Models of Information Technology Departments in Libraries
    • 2.6. Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change for Library Technology
    • 2.7. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study for Organizing Library Systems
  • Chapter 3. Pull versus Push: Lessons from Lean Manufacturing
    • 3.1. Quick Primer on Lean Manufacturing
    • 3.2. The Past as a Series of Push Processes
    • 3.3. The Growth and Development of Pull
    • 3.4. Applying Jidoka and Heijunka: Examples of Lean Principles
    • 3.5. Genchi Genbutsu
    • 3.6. Kaizen
    • 3.7. Improving the Flow of Patron Services
    • 3.8. Kanban
    • 3.9. The Andon System in Library Workflows
  • Chapter 4. Build–Measure–Learn as an OODA Loop
    • 4.1. What is an OODA Loop?
    • 4.2. Building for the Loop
    • 4.3. Measuring during the Loop
    • 4.4. Learning from the Loop
    • 4.5. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: BML Loops
  • Chapter 5. Innovation Accounting and Francis Taylor
    • 5.1. Innovation Accounting versus Financial Accounting
    • 5.2. Key Concepts of Innovation Accounting
    • 5.3. Knowledge Stocks versus Knowledge Flows
    • 5.4. Francis Taylor and the Library’s Baseline
    • 5.5. Accounting for Intralibrary Loan Using the Just-In-Time Principle
    • 5.6. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: Establishing Tutt Library’s Baseline
  • Chapter 6. Defining Hypothesis and Managing Complexity
    • 6.1. What Is a Hypothesis?
    • 6.2. Business Model Canvas
    • 6.3. From Business Model Canvas to Defining Hypothesis
    • 6.4. Managing Complexity through Lean Principles
    • 6.5. Continuous Improvement and Integration through Standardization of Library Operations
    • 6.6. Muda, Muri, and Mura
    • 6.7. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: Tutt Library Business Model Canvas for Its TIGER Catalog
  • Chapter 7. Actionable Metrics from Patron Activity
    • 7.1. Actionable Metrics from the Build–Measure–Learn Cycle
    • 7.2. Library Patron Activity as a Library Action Metric
    • 7.3. The Myth of the Monolithic Library Patron
    • 7.4. The Long Tail of Library Cohorts
    • 7.5. Google Analytics
    • 7.6. COUNTER Database Statistics
    • 7.7. Passive versus Active Metrics
    • 7.8. A/B Testing as an Active Metric
    • 7.9. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: A/B Testing and Privacy
  • Chapter 8. Pivoting or Persevering when Technology Changes
    • 8.1. Pivoting
    • 8.2. Perseverance
    • 8.3. Agile Decision Point
    • 8.4. Disruption Occurs
    • 8.5. Responding through Tenkan
    • 8.6. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: Pivoting with Technology Change
  • Chapter 9. DevOps as a Lean Strategy
    • 9.1. Characteristics of a Healthy DevOps Department
    • 9.2. DevOps for Larger Organizations
    • 9.3. DevOps for Smaller Libraries
    • 9.4. Catalog Pull Platform Case Study: Supporting DevOps at the Tutt Library
  • Chapter 10. The Future as a Warehouse
    • 10.1. Reclaiming “Book Warehouse”
    • 10.2. Smart Collections
    • 10.3. Peer-to-Peer Lending
    • 10.4. Extending into Communities
    • 10.5. Increasing Serendipity through Creation Spaces
    • 10.6. Leading from the Edge
  • References
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2015
7th December 2015
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Jeremy Nelson

Jeremy Nelson is the Metadata and Systems Librarian at Colorado College and the project leader of the open-source Redis Library Services Platform. Prior to becoming a librarian, he worked for a variety of different sized software companies in the financial services and online education markets. His interest in applying successful software management techniques to libraries started in graduate school at the University of Illinois and continued through his professional positions at academic libraries.

Affiliations and Expertise

Metadata and Systems Librarian, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, USA

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