The Public Library View

What do users want in public libraries? According to Stewart Bodner, it’s cheap, fast, and good. They want full text, linking, current data, and relevancy. He noted the importance of personalization and customization, but also said it was hard to implement in the context of the public library. He made the distinction between Digital Immigrants, who use PCs for email, word processing, and searching, and Digital Natives, who use Internet capable devices to connect to the world. For Digital Natives, it’s a lifestyle. Stewart then looked at us and said, “No one in this room is a digital native.” Then he claimed that “convenience trumps quality” and said his job (and by extension, any librarian’s job) is “to make quality convenient.” Great stuff and an interesting view of information quality, something I’ve been talking and writing about for years.

Marydee Ojala
Editor, ONLINE: The Leading Magazine for Information Professionals

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