On Containerless Content & Libraries’ Shifting Services 1

Aaron Schmidt writes:

Taking A Pass On Passivity

We need to stop focusing on giving away free content and do something different—something no other institution, civic or commercial, is doing.

This is where user experience and design thinking come into play. We spend a fair amount of time idly discussing what the future will hold. But this is a fool’s errand. It is this passivity that got us squeezed out of the containerless content game in the first place. Our time would be better spent observing the core needs of our communities and thinking of exciting ways to meet them. And here’s the kicker: while access to information seems likely to be a core need for some time to come, checking materials in and out of a library may not.

There’s not necessarily a single way forward as libraries transition to being less reliant on circulating content. But we can learn from how successful libraries are transitioning and, to the extent that our communities are similar, experiment with mimicking their efforts.

Read the whole column here: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/ljinprint/currentissue/885299-403/the_user_experience_services_before.html.csp#mce_temp_url#

One thought on “On Containerless Content & Libraries’ Shifting Services

  • Michael Luther

    After reading the entire column, it occurs to me that resource users and those individuals who fund libraries frequently come from radically different demographics. This creates a real difficulty. No matter how much value we provide to teenagers, the unemployed or in terms of adult literacy, the onus is always on the librarian to show that value.

    Maybe we should be asking a different question: what value can we provide to middle and upper-class state and local government officials who are making the funding decisions in the first place. What value can we provide to those groups that may have very little need for free content, container-less or otherwise. Is there a way to make our value felt?

    Maybe similar questions should be asked in academic libraries as well.

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