Are We In The DIY Era? Helping patrons help themselves

October 13, 2011, 5:20 pm

UCSB's Ole checking out some books

A core theme I see in LibQUAL+ data is that most libraries do pretty well in the service dimension, but when it comes to enabling users to help themselves their perceptions are typically much lower.

When you put all the numbers together the narrative goes something like this:

You’re pretty good at helping me, thanks, but I’d really prefer to do more things by  myself—and by the way, you don’t make that very easy for me.

But is this changing? Over the past several months (years?) a common theme seems to popping up everywhere: self-service. A few examples:

This is just a sampling, but you see what I’m saying? The movement here is letting patrons do more on their own. Our challenge, as a profession, is going to be allowing ourselves to let them have more control over their library experiences.

I’d be curious to see some more examples of libraries that are empowering patrons.


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