Ever wanted to know what your customers think is missing from a service point in your library?
There’s an easy way to find out … just ask! Post something that asks “what’s missing?” and start gathering answers. For example:
- Want to find out what’s missing on your public PCs? Tape a form to the table by each computer and ask for comments.
- Have a teen room, and you want to find out what’s missing there? Put up a white board that asks “what’s missing?” (and be prepared for some snarky responses. They’re teens, after all).
- Have a mobile website or app? Do what my library did. The last link on the main page of our mobile Boopsie app is “What’s Missing? Send us a Suggestion.” Clicking that link leads to an email form that gets sent to me. And believe me, people fill that out!
- Ask through your library’s social media channels.
You can ask a similar “what’s missing” question on a website, in a room of the library, or even in the stacks. The point is this: if you want to make improvements in the library, you need to find out what’s missing … and fix that stuff.
Pic by crdotx
I gave this presentation last week at a webinar for the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. There were a LOT of great questions afterwards. Lots of libraries are thinking about hackerspaces, makerspaces, etc … and trying to answer the “why” – as in why should we do this? What’s available? What are other libraries doing?
This presentation gave an overview of what’s happening, and also gave some tips on where to start.
Google just announced the demise of Google Reader – a tool I use to read RSS feeds with, and am in pretty much every single day. That’s probably how many of you guys read my blog, too – darn that Google!
But never fear – Stephen Abram is here to help! He has gathered some relevant stories, blog posts, and alternatives together, so you and I don’t have to - go read his post. Looks like I’ll be checking out Feedly, NewsBlur, and The Old Reader for sure.
Here are some other ideas for subscribing to my blog and others:
- Get a new feed reader (see above).
- Subscribe with email – great if you don’t subscribe to too many blogs and news sites.
- Subscribe with Twitter or Facebook. Many blogs and news sites (mine included) post a link to Twitter when a new article is posted. Sort those into a “geek library” list, then go visit it once a day or once a week. Problem solved!
Other options? Let me know in the comments. And – thank you for reading! You’re awesome!
Pic found at Silicon Valley Business Journal
My library’s Web Developer, Nathan Pauley, emailed this infographic to me, and it’s really cool! They studied smartphone use (or more accurately, it looks like they studied web and app use on smartphones, since they excluded email, sms messages, and voice calls from their infographic).
I’ve not clicked through to pay for the whole study, but this single page provides plenty of food for fodder:
- 68% of smartphone use happens at home.
- Love the different labels for stuff people do on their smartphones, like self-expression.
Two weird things:
- Self-expression – I guess this is where you’d put content creation? Posting to Tumblr or Instagram, for example? How do they tell the difference between a Facebook post that’s self-expression (writing a haiku, for example) vs a Facebook post that’s socializing?
- Socializing – why didn’t they just include email, sms messages, and normal voice phone stuff here?
Either way, take a peek, access the study (if it’s not too much – I haven’t clicked through), and give it some thought.
I attended a vendor presentation last week, and one of the reps said something very interesting about getting a library to 100% self-check. Here’s what he said:
“100% self-check is really easy to get to. You just eliminate any other way. It’s not rocket science.”
For self check and libraries, I know of more than one library “working towards” 90% self check, or they have a goal of a certain percentage. Or they just continue to offer both, with no real goal to stop either of them.
Some questions for you, if you’re in this boat – how much do you want to reach that goal? Is it really a goal? If so, do you know WHY it’s a goal? Is it what your customers want, or does it work better for the organization (not necessarily a bad thing). Is something holding you back? And if so … why?
Obviously, this works with more than just self checkout!
Are you trying to make a change, but you still really have the old way AND the new way still fully functioning? Maybe it’s time to set a deadline for the old process to go away. Maybe you need to rethink the project, ask customers about it, or ask staff how to improve it.
Maybe you simply need to commit, and take that next step.
Pic by Richard Masoner