Convergence & Library Culture

I think I read over 100 pages today on my flight out to Colorado Springs (getting stuck in OHare for three hours helped too) of Henry Jenkin's lastest title, Convergence Culture. But it was this passage on page 168 that made me stop and think of libraries …

“Media producers can garner greater loyalty … if they court the allegiance of fans; the best way to do this turns out to be giving them some stake in survival of the franchise, ensuring that the provided content more fully reflects their interests, creating a space where they can make their own creative contributions, and recognizing the best work that emerges. In the world of ever-expanding media options, there is going to be a struggle for viewers the likes of which corporate media has never seen before. Many of the smartest folks in the media industry know this: some are trembling, and others are scrambling to renegotiate their relationships with customers. In the end, the media producers need fans just as much as fans need them.”

Substitute “library” for “media producers / franchise” and “library users/ community” for “fans” and I think this idea of “renegotiating our relationships” with our customers is also true in libraries. We need to make sure our collections and services “reflect their (changing) interests”, our spaces (both physical and virtual) allow for collaboration and “creative contributions” and most importantly recognize our communities and make sure our libraries allow them celebrate themselves (ie “best work”). For “in the end the (library) needs the community just as much as the (community) needs (the library).”

Anyway… In addition to this thought, the book’s an interesting and insightful read on culture and the convergence that is happening today between old and new media. Highly recommended!

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