Super cool article by Patricia Martin at Huffingtom Post. So glad to meet here at #rsq12
Until recently, public libraries had little reason to innovate. Then Google arrived. More disruptive technologies followed, causing an identity crisis for librarians. Now the profession is re-thinking its purpose — a quest that lured a gathering of 350 eager librarians to Telluride, Colorado recently for the R-Squared (Risk and Reward) Conference.
As I circulated, knots of librarians huddled to share ideas and solutions. If there was a common thread it was the need to understand the increasingly complex lives of customers. Pre-Internet, a library could be object oriented — all about books. But the confluence of digitization and a prolonged recession has triggered an evolution that puts a focus on people, not things. Doing so has a ripple effect that invigorates a community. The idea has been backed up by Forrester Research, who asserted that meeting customer needs across a life cycle, through online and off-line touchpoints, is essential to community-based innovation.