This a more complete report on Jenny Levine – The Shifted Librarian’s talk today at CIL2008. This is her Presentation Wiki . The presentation will be up directly on her wiki. Her Blog is The Shifted Librarian.
Making things high touch does not mean necessecarily making things high tech. Changing the language of your web portal, or how you ask your customers to interact with your library can create the sense of engagement that many public libraries strive for daily. Here are a couple of way to do that:
- Don’t say “you have to place an ill query foto see if that is available for loan” say– We don’t own this, but we will get it for you. Very positive response to the same ILL question.
- Provide direct text responses to questions posed via IM or web.
- Create places where patrons know there are people behind the information. “Real human beings are our (libraries) advantage over Google.”
- Use your services to connect people to people not items, without the technical stuff getting in the way.
- Develop little human touches where every you can.
Two things to remember and one question to ask yourself over and over again: : “Content Creators Connecting in virtual space,” “Gaming also supports face to face contact,” and “Do we use tools that match our social capabilities?”
If you are feeling overwhelmed about the change in technology here are two things to consider:
First a quote: “Tools do not get socially integrated until tools get boring” – Clay Shirky who wrote Here Comes Everybody: about organizing without organizations. He has also started a blog about the themes in the book.
Second: In response to the question: How do you keep up with it? “Use your friends and let go if you can’t get it all”
That hit one of my pet peeves right on. I hate hearing staff say, “Just go to the circ desk.” The average person has no idea WTF a circ desk is. Thank you for blogging this. Keep having a great time!