The Value of Libraries: Highlights from an OLA 2010 Session (4 of 4)
Posted by mejwalker on 2010/03/17
Reported by Mary-Elizabeth Walker, MLIS
Libraries and information centres are constantly seeking ways to increase their visibility and demonstrate their value to the larger organization. Melanie Browne, an information specialist at Maple Leaf Foods, recently presented a conference session on this topic during the OLA Superconference. For the benefit of those who were not able to attend, some take-aways from that talk will appear on this blog, in four posts.
The value of experiences
Remember the value of experiences. How people experience the library can set it apart from Google and can make it stand out in the organization. Here are some questions to help frame your thoughts on what users experience in the library:
- What it would take to get people to want to experience the library even if it was not free?
- Are people attracted by the physical atmosphere in the library? Is it clean, comfortable, non-intimidating? Are there free local newspapers?
- Can people easily find information through the library? Do they realize that?
- Do people think of the library as a place where they can find expertise?
- What would it take to bring non-users into the library?
- How is the library different from other places people seek information?
In summary, Melanie pointed out that the library cannot just be about information. In order to be a prized part of the organization, the library must provide value-added services (e.g., subject guides) and it must create experiences that users value.
Part 1: Goals and values
Part 3: Measuring value