Three Ways Libraries Can Be Different

Three Ways Libraries Can Be Different
Something to ponder. Originally posted by StevenB on User Experiences

In a recent post I discussed the importance of differentiation to the process of designing a user experience. So how exactly could a library differentiate itself from other providers of information such as Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and even Twitter – now being touted as a search engine? In the minds of our user communities the library may already be differentiated, but not in a good way. The library is likely perceived, in comparison to these other services, as being mostly about the printed book, less convenient and less technologically sophisticated. While the library is less convenient – quality research does takes time – it certainly is about far more than books and many are innovating with technology. How do we eliminate the negative differential factors and replace them with more positive ones?

In this post I’d like to suggest three things we librarians can do to position the library as substantially different from those other organizations that gather information for retrieval:

* Totality
* Meaning
* Relationships

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on May 15, 2009, in Libraries, Philosophies, Twitter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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