25 February 2006


Do you know what your customers really want your library to be and to do? If you don’t, you need to find out.

Helene Blowers [Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA] was able to watch members of a focus group as they discussed what they felt were “must haves,” “nice to haves,” and “don’t care” items for a public library. She wrote about what she discovered on her blog, Library TechBytes. A couple of her observations:
“Our customers highly value customization features. When visiting our homepage, they want to be able to customize it down to their favorite branch level….” “Outside of homework assistance, few participants found any personal value with the online subscription databases that we provide.” And the most disturbing… “With the exception of homework assistance, the library (in the public’s mind) is out of the information business.” The information here is not only for public libraries, but can be applied to all types of libraries.
The article: http://libtechbytes.blogspot.com/2006/02/what-i-learned-last-

The library: http://www.plcmc.org
Her blog: http://libtechbytes.blogspot.com

Joyce Valenza [Springfield Township High School, Erdenheim, Pennsylvania, USA] wrote what improvements teen really want to see in libraries. Although written about school libraries, their observations are applicable to any type of library. Here are some of their suggestions, taken from her blog, Joyce Valenza’s NeverEnding Search.

“Make it easier to get to from home.” “Describe what each search tool is best for.” “I want it to say, ‘Welcome [student’s name here] on the opening page.’”

URLs: The aticle:



Her blog: http://joycevalenza.edublogs.org

Finally, read how the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County has redesigned one of their rooms to reflect the tastes of their users in this article from their local newspaper.


The article: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/living/food/13929990.htm

The library: http://www.plcmc.org

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