Thing #14 - Library 2.0

So I'm finally getting around to posting about Library 2.0. I've been putting it off for a while now - I wasn't sure what I really wanted to add to the conversation. But I've been thinking about it more lately, so here are my thoughts on the subject.

The idea of Library 2.0 has been around for quite a while now. In fact, the articles we read for this "thing" were all from 2006 - that should tell you something right there. Of course, a lot of people think we've been 2.0 all along, and that's somewhat true. But the thing that sticks out for me is the customizable part of Library 2.0, and that's where I think our challenge lies.

Now, when I say customizable, I'm not talking purely about using technology. Sure, web 2.0 tools will make it easier to customize the user experience. For instance, our users could have their own customized library web page - when they log in, all of the resources they like best would be on the front page. Maybe it could also save their reserve settings, knowing automatically which location they prefer to have items sent to. Those would be really cool, customizable things. But our non-web services should be that way, too. If someone wants to just come in, pick up their reserve, check it out themselves, and go - they can do that. But what if someone wants to come in and talk to a staff person about what they are reading that week? What if they would really prefer having a live person check their items out for them? Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I think we should make sure that we are still giving our customers options on what kind of experience they can have when they are in our buildings, even if the option they want is the "old fashioned" way. That doesn't mean reverting back to a card catalog - it just means making sure our customers feel like they are being taken care of when they are here. Does that make sense? For the record, I think we do a pretty good job of this already. I just don't want those that aren't ready for web 2.0 to lose out on all the wonderful things that Library 2.0 can provide.

There are plenty of other examples of ways to customize the "library experience" that I can't think of right now. Thoughts?

5 Responses to "Thing #14 - Library 2.0"

BookBukNut responded on 10/07/2008 7:10 PM #

I couldn't agree more - sometimes we try to think about what's best for our customers and we don't always have the answers. Allowing them to set up their services, etc is the best way to move to the future.
Well said!

Ryan responded on 10/10/2008 11:32 AM #

Thought you might gain something looking at this survey.

Chels responded on 10/16/2008 9:04 AM #

Hey Erica! We haven't started our Learn and Play in the sorting room until recently but here I am! I keep mentioning you in my blog a lot because, well, you are my hero...but you know this. Hope to hang out with you soon! I still need to get a costume for your party!

P.S. I'm dumb and accidently posted this to Tina's page because I thought I had clicked on your name but obviously I didn't. Hopefully my dumbness at least makes you smile. :)

Morning Toast responded on 10/22/2008 11:50 AM #

As a non-library person, it's glad to hear that libraries are finally starting to think about - let alone put in place - better customer tools.

The web tools these days can provide patrons with a TON of resources and so far the tools I've seen (at least at my local library) have been less than stellar.

I can't think of any specific tools I'd ask for from a library, however. I think it's one of those things where you just don't know until don't have them.

luckeyfrog responded on 11/16/2008 10:26 PM #

I would love a sort of StumbleUpon/Netflixy tool on my library website where it would keep track of what I checked out and maybe even let me rate each item, and then based on what I liked most, recommend other media to me.

Even better would be if it would only recommend books available in my library, and give me the option to immediately reserve the book.