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9/08/2009

Applying the ownership strategy to libraries?

Just finished reading Robert Fabricant’s FastCompany article, Is the Kindle Destined for Skymall? and found his ownership analogies related to business strategies interesting. Here’s the five he outlined:

Own a killer app… the Tivo strategy
Own a library… the iTunes strategy
Own a device … the Wii strategy
Own a marketplace… the Apple Store strategy
Own a community… the MySpace strategy


You’ll need to full article (a fast read) to get the gist of his analogies, but after reading these, it had me thinking about how this “ownership” analogy applies to the future of the physical library. If you had to fill in the blank to this question what you answer.

Own ______________ … the library of the future strategy.

Or does “ownership” thinking/strategy not work at all for libraries? My thinking is, is that if that we don’t strive to be the “owners” of something, and then our value to our communities diminishes.

Your thoughts?

6 comments:

Cat said...

Are we the owners of a destination? Owners of the Third Place? Owners of cheap rental space (they use our space for taxes that they forget they pay)? I don't know if we're owners as much as we are facilitators. We facilitate the use of the internet, we facilitate access to books and movies and information, we facilitate learning and job searching. Our mission is much more "Native American" in that sense than it is "European" - we are people who focus more on sharing than on owning. At least, that's my quick thought on the topic.

Sarah Louise said...

a lot of food for thought...not sure I can be intelligent on it yet, but thanks for the seeds.

Andy W said...

If I might play fill in the blank...

Own your imagination… the library of the future strategy.

The library has been and always shall be a dream factory run on intellectual aether. Even Hollywood escapism is a chance for people to think and feel beyond their immediate reach. To quote Willy Wonka, "There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination." For a professional tasked with preserving the creations of others, we should always leave room for our own imaginings when it comes to advocating the library.

Eppo van Nispen said...

Hi Helen and all other commentators,
One of the DOK Delft Dutchies from Europe here....ofcourse libraries should own something....
how about OWN ACCESS or OWN FREE ACCES or better OWN AN ACCESSPOINT.... Libraries and the future strategy are all about access...keep up

Radical Patron said...

What would it be like if libraries took "ownership" of a few issues in the public interests that are very closely tied to librarianship and the public good? The ALA, for example, has hinted at this with its PrivacyRevolution website regarding privacy in the digital realm.

What if they made this a more active campaign by continuously curating a concise set of materials available at all public and academic libraries? Rather than merely presenting the collection, what if libraries fostered a public conversation by using their proximity to so-called "real people" to increase awareness and get people asking questions. What if people began saying "yeah, the libraries really shed some light on that issue" or "oh, the libraries are behind that" or "yeah, that's a library thing"?

Ed said...

I am not sure about the library "owning" something since most public libraries are funded by tax dollars. One thing I connect with a library is knowledge, I can go to my library and find information about things I do not know. I don't get the impression that the library "owns" the knowledge as much as the library knows where to find the knowledge.
How would a destination sound instead?
Your entertainment destination, Information destination,
Information Super Store (Libraries do store information)

-Ed