Information Architecture – Selling IA
While I am not disputing the value of having an information architect (IA) with today’s current economic woes, this is a hard sell. My library system has lost most of the budgeted monies for new materials for patrons, the reserve funds to weather this economic storm was given up to the county, staff is faced with a reduction of 5% in their salary, and while there has not been a reduction in staff many long term employees are leaving the system.
In Chapter 20, there was discussion about SAS (Search as a Service) consule for the MSWeb Team. By adopting the SAS, MSWeb yielded a cost savings of 45 person years in avoided work (based on calculating the development efforts-estimated at 5 person years-and multiplying by 9-the number of business units that didn’t have to reinvent the SAS wheel.) Regardless of this making sense, the bottom line is the cost savings. An argument can be made for a similar approach with the library. As I’ve previously mentioned in past entries, there is a great deal of legacy programs and other factors that are unknown to me to even argue for getting an IA. What is left?
Over the weekend, there was a new language database that was added to our library services. While I looked it over, I was not overly impressed just because there didn’t seem to be a need, in my opinion, when we are facing a budget crisis. Such databases rarely get used or even noticed by patron and staff. There are other free programs like LiveMoca which are more interactive, challenging, user friendly, and best of all – FREE. Can this be an option of reverse IA to see what works, remove what doesn’t and then rebuild? This week’s lesson had a link for an Intranet Roadmap http://www.intranetroadmap.com/. This gave information on how to create an intranet website. While I did play around with the tutorial, I did start to think that there are tons of information that library system could use for free or of little cost to do the role of an IA. The question is, can I sell IA this way to my library?