New York Public Library: judges' comments

  • A great model of innovation through 'out of the box' thinking.  It combines creative use of digital technologies, especially social Web tools, with the vitality of engaged communities, to produce new services, which are both fun and serious. Great way to de develop staff skills and stimulate the imagination of all.  Plenty to copy here! 
    – Dame Lynne Brindley, Chair, Former Chief Executive Officer, The British Library

  • Notable in the use of intentional 'skunk works' targeted at uniquely local crowdsourcing challenges in a creative yet focused manner.
    – Richard E. Luce, Associate Vice-President, Professor, and Dean of Libraries, University of Oklahoma

  • It may seem odd to say "small is beautiful" about a project at the New York Public Library -- the biggest public library in the biggest city.  But the NYPL labs have found a way to create a real innovation hothouse inside the large organization.  Their projects are focused, doable, productive, engaging to the community, and a source of ideas and technologies for future projects.
    Ann Okerson, Senior Advisor on Electronic Strategies, Center for Research Libraries

  • The New York Public Library (NYPL) Labs, bearing the users interest in mind, devote vigorously to each single project that they have committed to and deliver quickly innovative and highly qualified digital products to the end users. They try hard to make the best use of library resources by applying imaginatively and effectively the digital technology to various library areas. Owing to the sustained efforts of the Labs and the advanced technology, many old and unusable but valuable library materials have been brought alive and are able again to serve the public in a new format. One of the unique ways that the NYPL abs conduct some of their projects is the use of crowdsourcing, that is to  invite public participating, just like they attempt to make the best use of library resources, they intend to get involved as many community resources as possible in their projects. This way of practice itself turns out to be an innovation that may potentially contribute not only to the research librarianship but also to the mutual understanding and supporting between libraries and public societies.Since its establishment the Labs have been working industriously to bring thing that others think impossible to reality. They contribute to the library digitization by piecemeal. Each piece of their accomplishment proves to be an important component of the library technology work. The users’ satisfaction of the Labs product and the NYPL’s acknowledgment of their projects make the team believe that every effect is rewarded and every achievement counts.
    Dongfang Shao, Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress