From the comments on this post:
“… what happens to the physical library? If Topeka Public mails the holds to patrons and they can drop the returned item at boxes, and the patrons need not come to the physical library… I’m the systems librarian at the Academy Library Budapest and am alarmed by the declining clientele. What still draws them to the library is the line of subscribed databases which are unavailable outside of the library. What can we offer to repopulate the spaces, apart from the complementary agora-like events like occasional exhibitions, book presentations and invited lecturers-speakers?”
Great question, and a great way to end the year… or start the new year, depending on when you read this. So – readers, what do you think? How can we get people into the physical library?
Here’s my shot at it – we need to run the library a bit more like a business, and simply offer people something they want (like a good or product that a business offers to a customer). But what do we offer them? Here’s a great example from the ReadWriteWeb:
“Imagine a future when you go to the library with a 5 minute video you’ve just made about last night’s Presidential debates and that librarian says to you:
‘You should upload it to YouTube and tag it with these four tags – two broad and two more specific to existing communities of interest on YouTube and the topic of your video. Then you should embed that video in a blog post along with some text introducing it and linking to some of your favorite posts by other people who have also written today about the Presidential debates. Make sure to send trackbacks to those posts!’
‘Now, I think this is a particularly good video on the topic, so if you’re interested I will vote for it on StumbleUpon (as a sexy librarian I have a very powerful account there) and give it a good summary explanation. Any of those are steps you can take that will make your work all the easier for people to discover.’ “
So again – readers? What do you think? Why should our customers still visit the physical library, and how do we get them to do it?
And… Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!