AALL and Vable panel event reveals how to successfully implement a new library and information resource

March 28, 2022
Clare Brown

Emily Baldwin, Vable’s Head of Client Success, joined a panel of experts at a recent AALL event. It was designed to bring together information people and business partners to discuss how to successfully implement a new or updated library tool. The other speakers included Kirsten Leary from the Social Law Library, Andrea Hunt from Troutman Pepper, and Marcus Peasley from HBR Consulting and they were happy to share their experiences.

New information tools and databases require considerable investment, therefore it is important to get it right from the start. Team Vable has written extensively about how to build relationships with your vendor; and most recently, we wrote about what to think about before implementing any new technology

Listen to the AALL panel discussion (paywall)

Vendors want you to succeed

Business partners and vendors like Vable want your library tool implementation to succeed. This is easy to do when they know your organisation’s goals, challenges and requirements. While these should be established at the onset of on-boarding a new product or resource, it’s always good to keep your vendors in the loop on any developments, projects or changes in your organisation that might overlap with the role your vendor is filling.

What are the steps to implementation?

  • Assess factors for implementation readiness. Are you taking into account qualitative and quantitative measurements? How will you identify roadblocks and readiness? 
  • Identify the goal the new tool will achieve. They recommended using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, Timely) 
  • Determine stakeholder involvement, for example, who is involved and what are their roles and responsibilities. They recommend assigning reasonable responsibilities and clearly communicate responsibilities with each stakeholder
  • Communication is key. How often are you going to report on your progress and what metrics should be tracked? 
  • Determine your message approach. There are differences in the messages needed for the management committee, compared to the knowledge team. 
  • How will you test the tool? Will the tool achieve the overarching goal the Firm set out to achieve? What unique cases present roadblocks / opportunities
  • How will you design and roll out the training? Which method works best for everyone Is that live demo / hands on exercise, recorded video, pamphlet, etc.
  • Monitor, monitor, monitor! How are you tracking progress? What metrics define success? 
  • Proactively communicate with struggling or road blocked users and take corrective action as necessary

 Read more about working with your vendors

And finally, don’t be afraid to be bold!

Emily and the other panellists emphasised that library and information decision makers shouldn’t be scared to make adjustments to their plans. With regularly updated metrics and honest discussions, library and information teams can identify where changes are needed. We can prepare and have everything in place, but we must remember that although we can control systems, we cannot control outcomes. 

As long as teams maintain open lines of communications, are transparent with stakeholders, and manage all expectations along the way, implementation will be a resounding success. 

Team Vable is committed to working with library and information professionals. This past couple of years has brought many technological changes, but one thing remains the same: we want to bring you innovative ways of sharing knowledge and a platform that is fun to use. We want our new and existing customers to take advantage of the amazing things Vable has to offer - watch this space to find out where you can see us in person in 2022.