Hahn Receives EBSCO Folio Innovation Challenge Grant

Jim Hahn, Orientation Services and Environments Librarian, and Associate Professor of Library Administration at the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named Principal Investigator on a project funded by a grant from EBSCO’s FOLIO Innovation Challenge.

FOLIO is an open source library services platform, and the EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge is a program that will award grants to libraries based on the solutions they propose that advance technology for libraries.

U of I’s project team will include Jim Hahn (PI), Benjamin Ryckman, and Nate Ryckman The total award is for $15,000, and the project’s grant period will run through Spring 2018.

The project will improve circulation services for loanable technology items and reservable room spaces at the Undergraduate Library. Students have come to rely on the Undergraduate Library’s loanable technology items, and the high-demand for their checkout necessitates unique solutions. The end result will be the integration of some of U of I’s loanable technology software into FOLIO. These enhancements would also be useful to institutions outside of U of I, since they will contribute to the FOLIO codebase.

This work fits with the University Library’s strategic framework, which includes goals to “optimize discovery of, access to, and accessibility of all library resources, collections, and services.” Hahn’s project will allow the University Library to learn more about the FOLIO system and provide some resources back to the broader FOLIO community.

Hahn is the architect of several influential technologies at the University Library, including the iWonder chat widget used on all major website pages. This service allows for real-time research and reference assistance for hundreds of patrons throughout the library community. Hahn also participated in numerous user experience studies for the library mobile app Minrva, which allows for easier browsing of the library catalog while on mobile devices.

Hahn’s research focuses mainly on library technology, particularly mobile developments, optimization in search and discovery, and the research needs of undergraduate students. He earned both a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences, and has been a professor at the University Library since 2007.

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