INLS 740: Environmental Scanning

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A digital library project is a large undertaking, into which figures a wide range of technologies and processes.

but breaks down into identifiable processes and tasks. Hence, the project working groups in this course (though the scope of the working groups here are somewhat artificial, designed for pedagogical effectiveness rather than realism). Within the large scope that is a DL project, sub-groups

Each working group has its own particular scope of work within that

For this assignment, working groups will conduct continuous environmental scanning in their particular area. Throughout the semester, each group should monitor a range of sources of information relevant to their scope of work: check websites, blogs, and news announcements; monitor user and developer forums; subscribe to listservs, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts; etc. I would also encourage groups to actively participate in any venues to which users may contribute: pose questions on user forums, have conversations with organizations on Twitter, etc.

The information gathered from these venues should, naturally, inform each group's work. For this assignment, however, groups will digest this information and provide the class with news about developments in their area at least three times during the semester. More would be fine, of course, if there is especially interesting news to report. These reports should be made as brief posts to the Discussion fora in Sakai.

A good example of an environmental scan in a library context is the Pattern Recognition report by OCLC. Your group's environmental scan need not be this formalized, and your report should not be this long. But this report provides a good example of the methodology used in environmental scanning.

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