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IAI Library Progress Report

The following is an update I wrote on an ongoing project for the IA Institute in 2015 in which I implored the IA community to save the archives of our organization from fading into obscurity. (Updated in 2020 for Posterity)


In August of 2015 I asked the community an important question:

Do you care about the future of the IA Institute’s library enough to donate your time?

I was overwhelmed with the response. 130 people pledged a total of 520 hours to help rebuild the largest IA-centric library in the world.

So far 68 people have come through on that pledge and I would love to share with you what they have been up to and what we are planning for Phase 2.

What have we accomplished so far:

  • We have reviewed all 545 resources that are currently listed in the library
  • We have saved 117 resources that were broken links
  • We retired 32 resources that could not be located
  • Our researchers added 42 resources for beginners to fill in some of the gaps that we identified
  • We reviewed all resources for relevance to people practicing IA today and made recommendations on which materials to migrate and which to retire
  • We determined the broad categories that each resources fell into:

Understanding users & context
Organizing and categorizing content
Facilitating IA decision making
Diagramming & mapping
Presenting & selling IA
Examples, Case Studies & Best Practices
IA Career Advice
The History of IA

  • We determined who each resource was most useful for between academics and/or practitioners
  • We determined the level at which each material was most useful between beginner, intermediate and advanced

Here are some graphs showing what we found:

Several charts and graphs depicting the findings of this research.

What’s next?

If you haven’t completed your pledge yet or are just hearing about this for the first time, don’t worry! There is still a lot of work to be done to save this library. Here are some of the next steps we are working on and ways you can get involved.

  • The IAI core library team is working on the controlled vocabulary and metadata schema that we will use to enable users to find resources. They are also working on navigation taxonomy and wireframes for the library interface and have recruited users from the community to participate in usability tests and card sorts.
  • We are recruiting a team of people to go through the 143 resources that our Phase 1 reviewers did not recommend migrating. Since only one person has looked at each resource up to this point, we want a group of people from different backgrounds and perspectives to give these a second pass so that a final determination can be made about each.
  • We are recruiting pairs of people that can work together on a small set of resources. Pairs will be responsible for tagging their resources using the controlled vocabulary and reviewing or adding the metadata associated with each resource in their set.
  • We are recruiting curators for each broad category to begin assessing what we are missing from the current resources and to recommend what we should add. Ideally, we will want these people to stay on after migration to keep an eye out for new resources as they come out.

How can you help?

  • Nominate yourself to take on the pair review challenge. There is a space in the form to nominate a friend if you have someone you want to work with, otherwise we will pair you up based on timezone for easy collaboration.
  • Nominate yourself to be part of the migration committee
  • Nominate yourself to be a curator for a broad category that you have expertise or interest in.

Fill in this form to nominate yourself (link removed!) for any of the above roles!

We hope to get all phase 2 volunteers in place by January and aim to complete Phase 2 in time to celebrate at World IA Day on February 20, 2016!

Shoutouts and Group Hugs!

I want to give a gigantic shout out and group hug to Rachael Hodder who single-handedly managed all barn raising volunteers to get through their tasks. Help us thank Rachael by sending a tweet her way (@zenparty).

Lastly, I want to thank everyone on the lists below. Their dedication to this community is inspiring.

Library Team:

Ren Vasey
Johannes Baeck
Trent Sherell
Rebecca Kidd


Alicia Raciti
Allison Moore
Amanda Porto de Oliveira
Ana Cortes
Andrea Gallagher
Andrea Resmini
Andy Fitzgerald
Anne Franco
Beatriz Teixeira
Bella Wenum
Bernardo Dore
Beth Mens
Chad Q. Martin
Christopher Harrington
Clayton Dewey
Dalia R. Levine
David Cain
Dina Lewis
Dorian Taylor
Geraud de Laval
Ghita BO
Jacob A. Ratliff
Jacqui Olkin
Jamie Thomson
Joel Bews
Joelle Fleurantin
Johanna Kollmann
Jose Coronado
Lis Hubert
Lucas Roe
Lutz Schmitt
Mags Hanley
Marg Laing
Matthew Dingee
Meghana Khandekar
Michael Adcock
Nathan Gao
Nathaniel Davis
Pamela Drouin
Renato Wajnberg
Robert Pfaff
Sharon Stern
Simon Rodier
Tim Van Meter

Link Savers

Amandine Alcolei
Ashley Bodiguel
Aurelia Engstrom
Eric Rosenberg
Joshua Allen Holm
Karen J Lees
Kathryn McElroy
Owen Morrill
Rebecca Kidd
Seven Harkey
Sophie Friermuth
Stephanie Marsh


Bogdan Stanciu
Dan Klyn
Jackie Wolf
Jorge Arango
Livia Labate
Marsha Haverty
Mike Atherton
Noreen Whysel
Samantha Raddatz
Stuart Maxwell
Whitney Hess