Three Ways Libraries Can Be Different
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: