The Customer-Focused Library: Re-Inventing the Library From the Outside-In

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Overview

What is the future of the public library? How can libraries embrace the forces of change and provide the resources—and the resource-gathering environment—today's patrons want? The Customer-Focused Library: Re-Inventing the Library From the Outside-In answers these questions by proposing a transformative alternative, a reimagined library in which the collections, the services—even the building itself—are designed and built from the customer's perspective.

Written by one of the country's foremost library consultants, The Customer-Focused Library shows how perceived threats to the traditional library model are in fact exciting opportunities for change. The book lays out the steps by which professionals and patrons together can help invent a new generation of libraries, with discussions of hiring guidelines, merchandizing, the library website, even the building plan itself. It is a proactive, consumer-based approach aimed at helping librarians focus on underexamined ideas, underexploited trends, underused assets, and the as-yet unvoiced needs of library consumers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Four stars for The Customer-Focused Library . . . In this outstanding work, Joe persuasively lays out the case for re-imagining what the library does from the point of view of the customer."

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It's all good (scanblog.blogspot.com)

"An in-depth index enables the work to be used again and again for reference, while the writing style encourages one to read from cover to cover. This is a valuable book not only for public libraries, as the title indicates, but any library wishing to focus on the customer, or patron."

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ARBAonline

"Intriguing to some and perhaps disturbing to others, this high energy work explores the ways in which public libraries could be redesigned to focus on the needs of customers."

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Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591588757
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/25/2009
  • Pages: 95
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Traditional Library Thinking 1

Notes 5

Chapter 2 The Constraints of Tradition 7

Notes 10

Chapter 3 It's All About the Customer 11

What's in a Name? 11

Who Is Your Customer? 12

Benefit Segmentation 14

Adding Value 19

Challenge 20

Action Plan 23

Conclusion 24

Notes 24

Chapter 4 Library as Place 27

Full-service Branch Libraries 28

Unique or Narrowly Focused Libraries 30

Community Children's Library 31

Adult Community Library 31

Shopping Mall Library 31

The Experience Library 31

Idea Stores 32

DOK 32

Convergence 33

Adding Unique Functions/Activities in a Library 34

A Teen Library 34

Less Is More 35

Prototype Library 35

An MDM 35

Amenities 36

Wayfinding 36

Conclusion 37

Notes 38

Chapter 5 The Library Collection 39

Merchandising 40

Organizing the Displays 42

Results of Merchandising 44

Obstacles to Merchandising 45

Implications of Merchandising 45

The Collection 45

The Online Catalog 46

The Staffing Mix 46

Space and Furnishings 46

Jargon and Tradition 47

Conclusion 47

Notes 47

Chapter 6 Library Services 49

Visibility 49

Engagement 49

Positive Feelings and Perceptions 50

Wayfinding 51

The New Customer 52

The Words We Use 52

Dress Code 53

Hours 53

Conclusion 53

Notes 54

Chapter 7 Information Technology 55

The New Library Catalog 55

The Library Web Site 58

Digital Content 61

IT Architecture 61

Notes 62

Chapter 8 Library Staffing 63

Recruiting Staff 63

Developing Staff 64

Energizing Staff 66

Recognizing Staff 67

Resistance to Change 67

Uniforms 68

Customer Service 68

Conclusion 71

Notes 72

Chapter 9 Removingthe Shackles of Tradition 73

Walk the Walk! 75

Where to Start 76

Mission/Vision 78

Embrace Innovation 79

The Importance of Design 82

The Key 86

Conclusion 87

Notes 89

Index 91

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