My Name is Julia, i work not in but for libraries at one of the six existing german library consortias, called KOBV (Cooperative Network of Berlin-Brandenburg Libraries). We develop, host and maintain software and services for libraries within the Berlim- Brandenburg region and even beyond.
Since January this year we are working intensively on a new project named “K2” (KOBV-Portal 2.0), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Berlin state for the next three years.
The KOBV-Portal has been around for more than 10 years, it was launched already in 2002. It is the research portal for library collections of the Berlin-Brandenburg region, and thus one of our central services for our consortial libraries. Its technologic architecture is based on the concept of distributed search, not wrong nowadays per se, but in comparison to known search websites as GOOGLE very slow indeed, as it queries all catalogs in web real time.
Now that is why we, as a modern service provider, decided to make the portal itself (not only its functions) faster and easier to use for everyone. Basically we aim to offer an easy search module, relevant results and an online interlibrary loan for everyone (whereever they might be located!) “under one roof, at one place” for all of our regional users.
And talking about users leads me to my homework: We know what kind of architecture we need to build the portal and which librarian needs we need to serve , but the individual user with his needs and wishes (for whom we finally develop the portal) is unknown to us. I hope to talk to colleagues from all over the world who meet “the user” everyday. And I hope to learn a lot by visiting different places, spaces, institutions, get inspired by the people I’ll meet on the trip.