Finishing up with this series. In this post, let’s talk about something simple that relates to adapting an online first mentality.
Where are your customers?
Guess what? For most of the day, they are not in your library building.
Darn! So where are they? At school, at home, at work, in their cars, exercising, eating, etc. But NOT hanging out with you, at the library.
And that’s ok and normal, obviously.
But here’s the thing. You have access to your customers … even when they aren’t in your building.
In fact, it’s quite possible you have BETTER access to them when they aren’t in your building. Here’s what I mean – how many of you distribute your library staff throughout the public area of the library, like a store, to help people at the point of need? Not too many of us. For most of our customers, it’s very easy to visit the library, browse for a book, check it out, and leave without ever having to interact with library staff.
But online, your customers are within reach:
- Teens. 95% of teens are online. When they’re at school, at home, even in your building … they are still online.
- Adults on Facebook. 57% of U.S. adults are on Facebook. Over half! Now narrow that down to your community, and you can say that over half of your community is on Facebook.
- Adults and their mobile devices. 90% own cell phones, 58% own smartphones. Most of them are at work. Can you develop services and tools on those platforms to help them? I’d guess so.
So … if the majority of your customers are online instead of in your library … where should you be? What’s that look like in terms of staffing? In terms of events and classes and programs? In terms of your collection and reference tools?
Definitely something to think about!
Photo by David Goehring