Digital or innovation “labs” in library or museum settings have been around for about ten years. The lab is usually a place for experimenting with digital collections in novel ways to reach new audiences or to explore new technologies. These, sometimes temporary, teams within a library, archives, or museum/gallery (GLAM) can support a range of internal and external digital services and programs.
Not so long ago, participants of the “labbers” (lab-interested) community identified a need to articulate lab values, share relevant experience and case studies, and suggest some best practices for those starting up cultural heritage innovation labs. Through funding provided by the University College London, Qatar, Qatar University, the British Library and the Library of Congress, a coordinating group engaged Book Sprint, Ltd, a rapid book production and collaboration methodology, and published a call for participants to write a book about GLAM labs in five days.