From Library Stacks to Library-in-a-pocket: Will Users Be Around? By Choy Fatt Cheong

This post is on: Choy, F. C. (2011). From library stacks to library-in-a-pocket: will users be around? Library Management, 32(1), 62-72.
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Amidst myriad of library projects here at NTU Library, it is timely to read a viewpoint written by my University Librarian that reminded me of why I am working on some of these projects.

Author-provided abstract

It is not sufficient to provide useful, high quality and innovative library resources and services. The acid test for their success is whether they will be used frequently. 4 factors are suggested – convenience, attention, awareness, and perception of value, that are likely to influence future use of libraries.

The 4 points that Choy raised were not new as he covered them repeatedly during staff meetings. Convenience, attention, awareness and perceptions of value. His explanations and articulation has sharpened though.

I believe most librarians are aware that library resources and services have to be increasingly convenient and easy to use and understand. Marketing and promotion of library resources to create more attention and raise awareness are getting attention. Conversations and sharing of anecdotes abound in listservs and at conferences.

I find the last point “perceptions of value” to be most important and also the hardest to create especially en masse.

As a librarian on the ground and not in senior management, how can I create this perception of value? I think I create a perception of value when I meet and in some instances pre-empt and over-deliver an important information need of a user. Pre-empting the next question and providing the answer even before the user ask it, I am sure, create a bigger and deeper impression. It is a lot more work and requires a lot more attention and focus but the impact and sense of satisfaction is higher.

The good news is that when this perception of value has been created, it lasts a long time. (^_^)