New Presentation: Creating Community Experience Using Mostly Free Stuff and Staff

Here’s the Slideshare version of a presentation I did for Proquest at the ALA MidWinter 2011 meeting. It was a fun presentation to do – I was experimenting with creating recurring themes throughout the presentation, and working on my transitions.

I think it worked well. Enjoy!

Answer these Questions for your Website

We’re in the midst of a website redesign for our library. As we start looking at content, links, buttons, headings, etc – stuff like that – you know what we’re thinking?

We’re thinking this: does this link/content/heading/etc answer these questions for our customers?

  • What can I do here?
  • What can I do next?
  • Why should I care?

Answering these are really hard! Think about it for a sec – take a pretty normal link, like the library web designer’s favorite – “Library Databases.” Answering that “what can I do here” question certainly gets into how you label that section of your website (’cause we all know that “Library Databases” means nothing). Perhaps something like “Find articles” or “do some research” might work better?

Or think about a blog post – answering the “what can I do next” question can be as easy as linking to a set of related articles, topics, or even related books at the end of the post. I do this on my blog – when you’re reading it on the actual website, when you finish reading the article, you’ll see a list of related blog posts I wrote. What’s this get you? Website visitors staying on your site for longer amounts of time. More clicks. Hopefully, more conversions – more people clicking “attend this event” or checking out a book, etc.

“Why should I care” is a favorite one of our library director, and it’s probably the hardest of the three questions to answer. One way to do this is in the content itself. So your first couple of questions get the customer to your content … and then your content itself will need to answer that “why should I care” thing.

The answer could be any number of things, ranging from “because you can borrow it for free” to “because you’re a small business owner, and these resources will help you be profitable.” See where I’m going with this? Another way to say “why should I care” is to ask “what’s in it for me” or “why is this interesting?” Give them that reason.

Give your customers a reason to stay on your site by having great content AND by actually telling them why they might want to stay. Do that, and my guess is that … they actually WILL stay on your site – your digital banch – longer, doing more things.

Could be a good thing!

pic by Marco Bellucci

Day 1 at Internet Librarian 2010

I’m at Internet Librarian 2010 in Monterey, CA – wonderful conference full of librarian techie joy. Here are some of the highlights I picked up yesterday:

The keynote presentation was: Why Libraries Have a Future: Adding Value to your Community, presented by Patricia Martin, CEO Litlamp Communications & Author, Renaissance Generation: The Rise of the CUltural Consumer and What it Means to Your Business

Her book = what it looks like right before a renaissance.

Here’s what she means by that:

as soon as something is deemed less relevant, it starts getting shed… her goal is to help us figure out how to still be relevant (so libraries don’t get shed)

Interesting aside – capitalism is based on conformity (ie., 9 billion people eating the same hamburger)

Cool idea – Irene Au at Google – created a team that looked around the org, and proposes improvements to the user experience at parts of google. This can work for a library!

She asked users what the minimal user experience should be, then works to get those integrated.


Managing Your Library’s Online Presence

Jennifer Koerber, Boston Public Library

think about voice. Be consistent in your voice online. use a styleguide with a team of authors.

pre-load some preferred tags, so when busy authors are ready to tag … they can pick some “good” ones.

fonts can give you a voice

banners – you can add these to websites, youtube, separate blogs, etc – it is a visual way to pull everything together visually

Logos – easy way to anchor your sites and services


SuHui Ho – University of California

Managing today’s e-Library

it takes a village to build, staff, and manage an e-library.


Colleen Brazil -Sno-Isle Libraries

Used Overdrive as example – said we should always continue the conversation about when patrons have a bad experience with a product we use – keep the dialogue open, communicate with vendor and patrons

Freak Out, Geek Out, or Seek Out – recent presentations

I recently gave my Freak Out, Geek Out, or Seek Out presentation at Lawrence Public Library in Kansas, and at three fun events in Wisconsin. A couple of them were longer, 3-hour talks, and the other two were shorter – this Slideshare slidedeck is for the 3-hour version of the presentation.

All 4 were fun talks with lots of great discussion afterwards. Lawrence and Wisconsin – thanks!

It’s the Experience that Matters – Notes from a ULC Webinar

I attended an Urban Libraries Council webinar on the customer experience today – it was good! Here are some of my notes from the session.

Speaker – Melanie Huggins, Richland County Public Library

Stuff I found interesting…

User Experience (UX) – interaction between technology and humans
Customer Experience (CxP) – all aspects of a customer’s interaction with an organization, its product and services

Think about the whole interaction – the before, during, and after – that’s the customer experience.

6 laws of customer experience:

1. Every interaction creates a personal reaction
– An experience designed for everyone satisfies no one. You need to optimize for a specific set of customers (ie., use personas)

2. People are instinctively self-centered
– don’t sell things – help customers buy them
– don’t show your corporate underpants

3. Customer familiarity breeds alignment
– think of your company as a large production crew making the stars (front-line employees) shine on stage (during customer interactions) – nice thought!

4. Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers

5. Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated
– me – ok. “encented” is a silly word.
– don’t just expect staff to do the right things. Instead, clearly define good behaviors.
– watch for mixed messages

6. You can’t fake it!
– it has to be top priority to be successful
– advertise to reinforce, not create, positioning (ie., job ads)

Definition of brand: a customer’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.

Good stuff!