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Library Technology Services: UFDC MVP

Resources from Library Technology Services, for library employees

UFDC MVP

See DDT slides on iterative development.

Example of MVP as donuts (plain, to glazed, to glazed with custard).

MVP (Minimum Viable Product = core requirements for initial release)

Inflexibilities

A core tenant of agile is that you can be flexible on features or timelines, never both. 

We have a fixed or inflexible timeline – we have to migrate by 2023, when current systems will not be supported.  Below is a story to communicate status and timeline. For the initial release, we are working on MVP, or minimum viable product, which is the initial requirements set for release.

Story for UFDC

The story below explains DSS as a book bindery and UFDC as a library built by that bindery. 

Long ago, there was a book bindery. Thanks to technology magic, it could keep a copy of each book it bound. With this magic, the book bindery opened a library in the bindery building. Thus, two things were in 1 building:  

  1. Bindery
  2. Library 

This was fine at first, with only an occasional patron. The library grew and grew, with more and more patrons. Now, the library has millions of patrons. And, no elevators, and other things that are not okay. A new library is needed. And, now there is a hard deadline. The current building will be demolished in 2023. Also, the building is starting to fail because it cannot hold up under so many books and so many patrons and the building could collapse before 2023.

Thus, a plan was developed: 

  1. First, build a new library [MVP for 2021] 
  2. Improve the system to have the new library fully functional (2022)
  3. Then, make improvements from a solid foundation, on a schedule to never be at risk again

For the new library building, many other things are wanted (the new location has space for more, and things wanted include a garden and a colonnade connecting to archives; also, everyone wants improvements in how the books are classified, which requires working with many people in order to develop a plan). [Not MVP] 

There is only 1 building and organization crew. If we spend time talking to them about the garden and other improvements, it takes time away from building the library.  If we work on anything outside of core requirements, we are at risk of not having a new library before our current one ceases to exist. Anything not MVP must be treated as outside (garden/colonnade), and dealt with later, to ensure we have a new library before the old one is demolished. 

Current Goals: 

  1. New library: New patron interface (new UFDC) in operation in 2022; with UFDC Working Group
  2. 2022, work on refinement and improvements, to have new UFDC meet all needs

In parallel, other work 

While we only have 1 building crew (Digital Development Team), we do have library workers (DSS, SASC, LT&DS, Social Media, Curators, others), who are preparing for the new library (new UFDC), with clean-up projects underway: 

  • PCMI - think of this like records that have no items on the shelves 
  • YouTube - think of this like DVD cases with no way to get the DVDs in them for the users 
  • Aggregations, closing empty/small to go from 1000 to 500 - think of these like reading rooms - we have hundreds that are empty or have less than 100 items; in a physical library, it would be like calling a single shelf a reading room, or a door that opens into a wall a reading room 
  • FAQ in development

Usability

The new UFDC relies on now mature standards and practices for digital libraries, with extensive information and exemplar systems available (e.g., UNT). Additionally, usability studies are informative from the old system for existing limitations and problems:

2021 on problems with metadata (affects patrons and prod)

2020 report on FDNL

2009 user survey on the aerials

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