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David Lee King

One Experience Most Libraries Already Have



Take a peek at this post from the Experience Economy Evangelist. The post discusses using scents as part of creating an experience. Apparently, some hotel chains are beginning to incorporate “signature smells” in their hotel lobbies.

And if you think about it – when you walk into a Starbucks, don’t they have a “signature smell” (as in strong coffee)? New cars also have a “signature smell” – that “new car smell.”

I think libraries also have a built-in signature smell – that of books! That slightly musty, old book smell… that’s one thing that digitization can’t match. I love the smell of books… and I think many other people do, too. It’s a smell that bookstores and libraries share, and I think it’s part of the overall “library experience.”

Maybe we’ll have to start “piping in” the old book smell as we continue to digitize? Who knows…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://tinfoilraccoon.com rochelle hartman

    I’ve never smelled that old book smell in our library, except for when we did have a small archives area (now long gone). I bet it’s a smell that fewer libraries have these days, with emphasis on retail appeal. When I think of how my library smells, I think of the horrible air fresheners in the bathroom, popcorn made in the microwave several times a week by staff, and East Indian spices. We have a sizeable East Indian population–any evening of the week, at least 20-40% of the patrons are East Indian and they smell (to me) wonderful. Onion, cumin, tumeric… Almost as good as musty books. Actually, better, since I have environmental allergies. Musty=bad.

  • http://tinfoilraccoon.com/ rochelle hartman

    I’ve never smelled that old book smell in our library, except for when we did have a small archives area (now long gone). I bet it’s a smell that fewer libraries have these days, with emphasis on retail appeal. When I think of how my library smells, I think of the horrible air fresheners in the bathroom, popcorn made in the microwave several times a week by staff, and East Indian spices. We have a sizeable East Indian population–any evening of the week, at least 20-40% of the patrons are East Indian and they smell (to me) wonderful. Onion, cumin, tumeric… Almost as good as musty books. Actually, better, since I have environmental allergies. Musty=bad.

  • http://diylibrarian.org/ Tara

    When I worked in a public library, it often smelled like chlorine because there was a pool in the basement of the building.

    My current library tends to smell like coffee or microwave popcorn. Maybe I should pipe in some old book smell!

  • http://diylibrarian.org Tara

    When I worked in a public library, it often smelled like chlorine because there was a pool in the basement of the building.

    My current library tends to smell like coffee or microwave popcorn. Maybe I should pipe in some old book smell!

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