Innovation as a strategic choice at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
IFLA Journal, 40, 2014, 3
Like libraries and librarianship in general, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) has in recent years been confronted with technology-driven changes in the information environment. These changes mean a considerable challenge in terms of the mandate of the DNB and the way to fulfill it. To cite one important example: how will DNB deal with a collection mandate extended to digital publications of all kinds, including the obligation to record these publications and make them available for current and future generations? How does it manage to remain a highly visible lighthouse in the seas of data and information? This will not happen accidentically, but will be the result of careful planning, determined actions, and continuous monitoring, based on a clear strategy and a systematic approach, and it means that processes and functions will have to be revised, terminated or newly established. The DNB has always considered itself as an innovative institution - the necessity to be open for recurring innovations and to initiate such developments has become more and more urgent. The DNB has, therefore, started a strategic process in 2013 to respond to this requirement. This process is new to the institution and its members and demands a lot of learning and preparation. A major first step was the definition of strategic goals for the years 2013 to 2016, complemented by a project for organizational development. These goals help the DNB to focus itself and they serve as a guideline for prioritizing projects and tasks. Examples for strategic priorities are a substantial increase in the collection of digital and web resources, development and implementation of automated cataloguing processes, stepping up digitization efforts, and building up an infrastructure for long-term preservation of digital content. However, there are other areas to be attended to and other challenges to be met - the strategic process and the organizational development are, for DNB, tools to continuously follow-up on innovation. This article intends to address the topic coming from two directions: On the one hand we describe the process development in DNB, and on the other hand we name examples and working areas, which might be relevant factors to successfully master the future.