Monday, February 8, 2010

“Me and My Shadow: Observation, Documentation, and Analysis of Serials and Electronic Resources Workflow” by Kristen Blake and Erin Stalberg

Blake and Stalberg's “Me and My Shadow” outlines a project done at North Carolina State University Libraries to document and review serials and electronic resources workflow. This three-stage project looked at the entire serials lifecycle and began with a staff shadowing component where a librarian directly observed tasks being performed. Workflow mapping was the next step, where the information gleaned from shadowing was documented in a graphic representation showing what steps were involved in various processes and by whom. Finally, the workflow was analyzed to look for areas that could be made more efficient. This article provides a nice literature review, highlighting several articles looking at library workflow analysis. The authors identified a gap in the literature regarding shadowing techniques in libraries as a tool for workflow mapping and analysis and sought to fill that gap with detailed sections on the shadowing process and outcomes. This article will be of interest to librarians preparing to engage in a serials workflow analysis. A link to view the workflow mapping diagrams created in this project is an added bonus.

The article can be found in the Serials Review, vol. 35, issue 4 (Dec. 2009), pages 242-252.


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