[WEB4LIB] Re: library marketing was RE: Google Mail invitations? Any takers?

Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt ndgmtlcd at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 14 19:37:19 EST 2005


Libraries give away information but on their own very restrictive
terms.  Bookstores have the staff (good ones at least) to support an
extremely loose and friendly arrangement of materials while libraries
have a Dewey Decimal straightjacket which normal humans hate so much
(without being able to name it though) that they would never set foot
in a library even if they were paid to do so.  And of course, there is
the fact that only a minority of public libraries have an enlightened
approach to inter library loans while a good number of bookstores make
their reputation on being able to get you the book they don't have on
the shelf.

These things are so deeply ingrained in the nature of public libraires
that I am a bit of a pessimist about any marketing effort that could
change the basics under the service.  Librairies provide some of the
things some kind of people (those that are willing to put up with a
catalogue for instance) want in some types of communities.  There are a
lot left out.

It all boils down to the number of trained, experienced library staff
you are able of putting behind the front desk (or bar) and behind a
keyboard (for live chat or any form of virtual reference) and the
quality of service they can give, and not the category of old or new
service that you can offer.

Alain Vaillancourt

> There's no question that we provide what people want. Barnes and
> Noble,
> the NY Times, Netflix, and ISPs charge for the same stuff that
> libraries
> GIVE AWAY in the form of books, movies, periodicals, and computer
> access. As far as ease of access, all people have to do is walk, run,
> bike, or drive to their community library. > The crux of the question
was how can we make library services
> "trendy",
> and that's the problem. I for one don't want my library to be trendy.
> (Starbucks anyone?)

Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?

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