In part three, letâ€™s make sure that everything your library does is represented online. At least, all the parts that customers interact with.
Whatâ€™s that mean? Think about what your library doesÂ for a second. Is everything – programs, events, services, etc. -Â represented online? Can you sign up for them online? If not – how come?
Sometimes, a library doesnâ€™t represent a service online â€¦ because it might become too popular. Seriously. Iâ€™ve heard of libraries purposely NOT sharing something online because of capacity issues.
It might be a book group with limited seating. It might be a service that the library couldnâ€™t handle if the service got too popular. Sorta like the In-N-Out Burger secret menu (if it wasn’t shared online) – if you happen to know about it, weâ€™ll do it. We just won’t tell you that’s an option.
There are a few ways to handle those situations:
- Consider NOT doing it anywhere. Either promote it and do it well, or donâ€™t do it at all. Maybe you should be focusing staff energy in other areas?
- Consider ramping it up. Gina Millsap, my libraryâ€™s CEO, likes to say that we â€œorganize around the work.â€ So if thereâ€™s more work to be done in a certain area, we shift staff to go do that. You could also hire more staff – if the service is truly popular and worthy of that type of investment (and, of course, if the powers-that-be say yes to that pricey request).
- Consider creating an alternative. Back to the book group idea for a second. My library does book groups. If more people want to start a book group, we have a cool service called Book Group in a Bag. We stuff 10 copies of a book in a bag, along with some “how to run a book group” instructions, and let customersÂ check it out â€¦ and start theirÂ own book groups.
SO can you represent everything your library does online? I think so – get busy!
Photo by Steve Rhodes