29 October 2006


New skills, new services, new opportunities, by Jill Stover [Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA], Library Marketing: Thinking Outside the Book, 18 October 2006

URL: http://librarymarketing.blogspot.com/2006/10/new-skills-new-services-new.html

Stover always has great ideas..here is her take on what business we're really in. (Don't forget to read her entire post....)

"Librarians, I've argued, aren't in the information warehousing business - we're in the improving people's lives business. We help people find, evaluate, and use information so that they can accomplish those things that are meaningful to them. Those "things" could be learning a new skill, completing major research projects, learning about a new or personally interesting topic, finding employment, doing self-exploration, filling in the family tree, communicating with friends, creating works of art or any one of countless activities that enrich patrons' lives. How exactly we go about our life-improvement business is changing. Patrons want and expect different things from us and they have more alternatives than they did in the past. These changes may be a little scary because they create a lot of uncertainty, but they are also incredibly exciting because they give us the opportunity to find new ways to apply our talents and resources. And we're not the only ones doing a lot of introspection these days.

"John Jantsch of the Duct Tape Marketing blog, offers the following bit of advice (http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/weblog.php?id=P762), 'This principle is one that every business can and should think long and hard about. How can you become more valuable to your clients. What can you offer to do, even if it's not really your job, that would help them be more successful, get better results, solve more problems. Do that, and you will find the universe will make you more successful in the process.'

"We're not alone in confronting the question of how to redefine ourselves given the realities of the modern marketplace. Some of what we've always done will remain, but I believe that librarians will have to develop new skills (like marketing?) and uncover new opportunities to turn our stuff into meaning for patrons. We will have to become adept at finding ways of helping our patrons be successful in their pursuits. Doing so means that we will have to leave our comfort zones, continually refresh our skills, and become indispensable partners with our patrons. Our success, it seems, is directly linked to our patrons' success."

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