Today I’m concentrating on Track B, Public Libraries’ Futures.
One of the track’s organizers was also its first speaker, Michael Stephens.
Here are some quotes from his Public Library 2.0 talk:
"Never blog in anger." (sound advice!)
"Be a sponge." (learn all you can.)
"Are we placing barriers between the user and the service?" (too many restrictions?)
Then Helene Blowers, tech director of the always-cutting-edge Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (NC), talked about her great Learning 2.0 initiative.
She used the classic carrot-and-stick method, encouraging staff to play with technology and offering new MP3 players to all who achieved 23 specific tasks (blogging, Flickring, etc.).
"I think that’s what Library 2.0 is all about — empowering our staff."
The second Public Libraries session featured none other than Stephen Abram, who was explaining Personas in Action.
Personas are hypothetical representations of user groups, defined by research. By knowing the amalgamated traits of a certain user group, you can serve them better.
The talk turned to Millenials, who behave differently from previous generations. Scans and studies prove that their brains are actually different!)
One trait, especially in females, is that they communicate more directly. And "A more direct person demands more of an interface." They don’t want to play around — they want what they want now.
So if you’re trying to attract a certain user group to your library, you’ve gotta set things up (in physical and digital space) in ways that work with their way of thinking and acting.
We all know this intrinsically, but — how many of us really do it?
Why not start NOW?!?
Editor in Chief, Computers in Libraries magazine
Editor, Marketing Library Services newsletter