Connecting libraries to bookstores

Posted on February 2, 2008. Filed under: access, administration, barriers, collections, customers focus, service |

I’ve been planning a conference, so most of my time has been hectic, but I’m back! 

Through a post on Librarygeekwoes I read about a post on LibraryThing regarding Tim’s ideas on connecting libraries and bookstores.

 This got me to thinking about how I use libraries and bookstores and the synergy between them, or lack thereof. Even though I have daily access to a well-stocked library with a lot of resources, I find myself going to bookstores and ordering books online on a regular basis.  Is this where I admit to being a bookaholique?   When I’m at a library conference, I will often stop by local bookstores to browse and typically see many people from the conference doing the same thing – they have their name tags on so it makes it easy to spot them.  Typically, the bookstores put up welcome signs for the visiting librarians.  That must mean I’m part of a large group that does the same thing.  If we do that, isn’t it reasonable to expect that, at least some, of our library customers do the same thing? So how can we help make customer frustration, as expressed by Tim at Librarything, go away?   

Our library has reasonably good relations with our local bookstores, which are predominately large national chains.  Administratively, we can encourage interaction and sharing of information, perhaps even signing agreements to cooperate. 

We do reach a point where we need to protect some information.  Libraries are typically required by state law to keep some information confidential.  We have always interpreted this law broadly to include just about everything.  Businesses will share information up to the point that it might infringe on their ability to make money. It would seem that technology is capable of drawing a very fine line between what we can share and what we can’t. We just need to make sure that it does so.  Not to throw this point away casually, because it is absolutely crucial, but I do think the confidentially issue can be resolved fairly easily. The harder part would seem to be developing the relationships and providing access to the appropriate information in all of the right places.   I would love for our catalog to have buttons on each search page that provide our usual options, plus the option to Interlibrary Loan – if not available, to locate the title at a local store or to access a national site for online purchase.  I have a sliding scale for how patient I am based upon my need of the moment.  All of those options would allow me to indulge my impatience in the best available method. Now we need to figure out how to share information so that this can happen.

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

2 Responses to “Connecting libraries to bookstores”

RSS Feed for Library Admin Musings Comments RSS Feed

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Jason Rakowski

Just saw Sarah Houghton-Jan’s Librarian-in-Black post on this theme (February 15, 2008; http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/2008/02/libraries-books.html) and shared the following with her:

Once again you’ve managed to share a dream which others have expressed. The idea of connections between libraries and vendors to the benefit of library customers fascinated me when I first encountered it in “Rethinking How We Provide Bibliographic Services for the University of California” (2005, p. 12; http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/BSTF/Final.pdf), and it’s nice to see it in your column and at Library Admin Musings. Here’s the UC report suggestion cited above:

“It is up to us to design a system that looks for alternatives on our users’ behalf…For example, when a book is checked out, the system could identify a copy in a library across town via OpenWorldCat, identify a copy for purchase in the campus bookstore, initiate an immediate order via an online bookseller, and offer similar titles that are available on the shelf.”

Perhaps if enough of us hammer at this theme, we’ll find someone willing to try it. With that in mind, I’ll submit this info to our colleague at Library Admin Musings and see how far it goes.


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: