Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hacking the Library

In a post titled "10 ways to hack your local library", Jeff Scott at Gather No Dust gives us some good insights on ways anybody can exert their influence at their public library. In fact, if we at the library are doing our job we're paying attention all the time. To cite one of Jeff's insights, merely by the act of checking out a book, a library user communicates a preference that will influence future purchases.

Jeff's points are all worth checking out. The only distinction I'd make is not all libraires extend such major benefits to their friend's groups -- but the ideas are worth considering. Check 'em out! Some of these are like a low tech 2.0, but the principle is the same -- we need to be open and interactive. Library 2.0 is in many ways only good customer service principles and techniques while acknowledging and using rapid technology changes in our professional environment. Here's the outline:
  1. Check out Books
  2. Don't see it -- ask us to buy it
  3. The world is at your fingertips with Interlibrary Loan
  4. Don't know what to read? Ask us! Or ask us anything, really!
  5. Be our Friend
  6. Ask us for services
  7. Return books
  8. Ask about our services
  9. Databases are good
  10. In fact EVERYTHING is free


jdscott50 said...

Thanks for the plug. I am sure there are some things I left out. If you think of more, let me know or post some.

I remembered that Lifehacker did something about books and used some library tricks, but there was nothing that actually gave advice on how to hack your library.

Terry Dawson said...

Well, I think the challenge is for librarians to be mindful, and to make our libraries MORE hackable. Even with current practices, there are more:

* volunteer
* use a meeting room
* tell us what you think

So more 2.0 things we might provide for:

* give feedback on the website
* comment on a blog
* take a survey