Meeting Users Needs

=In Between= posts a great entry this morning that clearly demonstrates the need for increased user-centric services.
"When a user of library systems complains, we should listen and think, because we might learn something. Sometimes however one learns more by watching the audience to which a user complains. Enter a horrid story..."
Read more here.

To add my two cents to this antidote, I have to agree. One of the primary goals that we should have in creating library services should be to do more than just re-focusing libraries with education roles (I cringed too when I hear the audience suggested that presenter needed to go back school and "enroll in a course in information skills") but rather to actually improve our services so that they (heaven forbid) empower the user.

I am always constantly amazed in this day and age of information and enlighten communication to still find so many staff threatened by this word empowerment. User self-sufficiency translates into "their going to take away my job". A relaxed user-center atmosphere equates to "but we're a library. We can't do that" And the desire for user-friendly intuitive tools? Forget it -- our users are, after all, uneducated goofs who need to be schooled.

Honestly - we're better then this!!! We need empower our users in everyway ... by making our catalogs easier to access... by making our subscription resources easier to search ... and by making our libraries feel more like a second home.

If the creation of services that empower the user is the foundation that every single library is built upon, then why it is still taking us so long to get beyond merely borrowing the book?

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