Published on: March 20, 2015by Kevin Coupe
Call it one for the books.
There's a story in the Daily Journal about how libraries are working to keep themselves relevant in a digital world where books can be downloaded, almost anything can be researched online, and the public library is competing with both Google and Starbucks, especially for the attention of young people.
The consensus seems to be that libraries have to reinvent themselves as community centers, offering "programs for all ages, technology like 3D printers and Skype, guest speakers and meeting spaces" and evening providing a "coffee house feel" its patrons enjoy. At a recent conference, "librarians also talked about improving communication and forming partnerships with government officials and residents to help improve programs and rally support at budget time."
But in what I think was one of the better turns of phrase, one expert says that librarians have to turn themselves into "information retrieval specialists" ... essentially becoming a valued source of curation and context.
Which, when you think about it, is exactly what smart retailers have to do.
It is a big ocean of information and product out there. Think of great librarians and retailers as offering swimming lessons.
(Okay, between "one for the books" and "swimming lessons," I know I'm mixing my metaphors. But you get my point...)
- KC's View: