The “guiding principles” for this project were that the system they developed had to be:
- Simplicity for the user.
- Work with what is.
- Release early and often.
- Expect change.
In a time of shrinking budgets and other resources, this project clearly demonstrates the value of agile software development, and having the staff available to make this happen. Commercial software companies, despite devoting enormous resources and funds to design and development of library systems, cannot keep up with the changing and evolving needs of patrons. Libraries need effective teams with a complementary skill sets to “stitch together” disparate systems to make serving the public more efficient and effective. The presenters used a quilt analogy in presenting this topic, and it rings true: libraries have a patchwork of different services and systems, which will be more immediately and effectively utilized when someone can sew them together, a few squares at a time, into a coherent whole, instead of waiting for a vendor to assemble the machinery to turn out a software “blanket” system.