Members you have or ones you want

This blog post via @mishdalton by Designing Better Libraries challenged me to think about who is it that we reach out to, and who do we expend our energies on.  I was reading this having already been challenged by another article about customer service and where it starts and ends. And considering that some Academic Libraries are making inroads into learning management systems, developing online resources and reaching out to who we perceive as our main clientele, but only judging that by number of hits and the odd focus group.  The proof within our own minds might be in the odd time when we encounter students at the help desk or within classes where by in information literacy classes we set tasks and watch were they end up.  Are they satisfied with the outcome?  Are we satisfied with the outcome?  Observations of real user experience.

I think as librarians we want to show the client/patron/user all of the possible resources  in one hit which often results in them being overwhelmed and maybe confused.  I guess it depends on the person. Some like to know everything and go away with lots of options.  However probably most just want to know the easiest and quickest solution and google and/or a discovery layer sort of does that, but most probably again does result in being overwhelmed and confused.

The Designing Better Libraries blog post made me think of fostering some of my library champion academics that I work with, and to channel extra knowledge and library services through them.  There is still a requriement to cast the net out to all the potential clientele as well, but working with your loyal and committed clients makes sense.   It made me think too about the concept of videoing questions and solutions and handing over the library instruction to the academic to see how they think it might work, and then with some coaching and suggestion, how it might be expanded upon.

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