Things I Haven’t Had Time to Think About

The number of posts that I have saved in Bloglines is growing exponentially. Given that school starts in two days, the likelihood that I will have time to comment on them all is steadily wilting into oblivion. So, I thought I would give an abbreviated commentary on the following posts.

  • Is the Customer Always Right?– from Thoughts from a Library Administrator. Michael A. Golrick writes “We in Libraries are not in retail. We have two sometimes conflicting service imperatives: helping the public meet its needs and guarding the resources which have been entrusted to our care.” This is an interesting post in which Michael argues that keeping employees is more important than allowing that the customer is always right. Michael ends the post by noting that happy employees provide better customer service. This is very true.
  • Libraries Getting Real: Change and Libraries Getting Real: People– from ebyblog. I’ve had both of these posts saved in Bloglines for a couple of months. Ryan Eby writes “I personally think that trying to copy others will do nothing but produce another failure. Instead, it would probably be better to take on some of the other “web 2.0″ qualities that many companies have. In order to get a feel I suggest giving a read to 37signals’ Getting Real which I quote from below. It will give you an idea of some of the things you should keep in mind when working on a web presence or application.” Ryan has some great suggestions for creating a better web presence.
  • Serenditpitous Browsing: A summary and commentary of Thomas Mann’s “What’s Going on at the Library of Congress?”– from Subject/Object. Steven Chabot has a great summary of Thomas Mann’s paper. Steven writes “I think that this is the main point we have to remember. All of these things are not difficult to implement. Let us have Google-like searches, Amazon-like ratings and Del.icio.us-like tagging alongside subject classification. We can gain much from folksonomies, and we don’t have to do so at the loss of traditional hierarchical ontologies. The digital catalogue is flexible enough for both.” I like this point.
  • Tagging– from TechEssence.Info by Jenn Riley – A great overview post that describes the concept of tagging. I often point people with questions about tagging to this post. This post can stand by itself as an introduction to tagging.
  • Usability through fun– from Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra. I have long thought that people don’t often take into account that web sites can be usable and attractive and fun. Kathy contends that things may actually be usable because they are fun. Kathy writes “If something is made more memorable, more easily learned, and more sastifying… we’ve improved usability. What about efficiency and errors? Benefits of fun are more indirect here, but one connection is something like this: The more fun something is, the more likely you are to keep doing it.” I think we need to remember this!!!
  • Who are your users?– from OPAChyderm. I often bemoan the fact that it is difficult to figure out what are patrons want since we don’t have great data. In this post, the author points out that we need to know who are users are. From this post, “NOW tell me how much sense it makes to have the public services librarians be the sole voice for “the users” when making decisions. For most of us in university libraries, the vast majority of our patrons never make it in the door. If they do, it’s usually just to pick something up, or use a public computer or something. It’s not hard to do the math. If you look at how many people are on campus, how many librarians are on duty at any given time, how much time you spend on average with a patron…it’s pretty easy to see that a tiny, tiny percentage of patrons are being represented when we just ask the public service librarians what they think “the users” would like.” I agree that when any members of the library staff try to make decisions, they are basing those decisions based on contact with a tiny portion of the community.
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2 Responses to Things I Haven’t Had Time to Think About

  1. Thanks for the note! If I can ever be of help, let me know, I am not far away. Southeastern Massachusetts is not far, and I go to Boston now and again. As a matter of fact for college graduation from a Rhode Island school, we stayed in Mass. (And I grew up in Central Mass.)

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hi Michael. Thanks for the kind words and the offer of help. I never really thought of blogging as a way to network and make new friends – but it certainly has done that and more. I really enjoy your blog, by the way!

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