Stepping It Up

When thinking about new areas for research or working on a new project there are a few factors that are worth considering. At the Make it Local event, Jon Kingsbury advised we should be looking into services that are shaped with people in mind, as this will mean gaining the maximum use from applied data.

How can we carry out a new project in the most effective manner? We told you about how the Bookshare project used agile development but what were the two criteria that the London Borough of Sutton used? This is what Ben Unsworth recommended at the Make it Local event.

Criteria 1: A new project must provide a step up from services that currently exist and there should be proof that local people will need it. Bookshare was an obvious choice, when you consider that the public in Sutton tend to find libraries highly appealing – There is almost a culture of book sharing that spans across the entire borough.

Criteria 2: The project should be based on real-time data, be updated regularly and move at a fast pace. Bookshare links in with library data and so you are given information on the location of lending and a real-time overview of where books are and where they will be sent.

And is there any evidence that this actually works? It has been shown through anecdotal evidence that people using the Sutton Bookshare, that have read a book borrowed from someone else’s collection, have a greater probability of buying a book by the same author. People feel encouraged to read as well as broaden their horizons and discuss a multitude of conversational topics.

So what do you think of this criteria? What would add or take away? Could it help you develop a project based on the data in Open Kent?

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