OCLC Symposium – Extreme Makeover: Rebranding an Industry Part 1

I took about 6 pages of notes during the presentation, so this is a highly condensed version of a very wonderful session. To make it readable, I am going to post it in four parts, separated by speakers.

The title implies that this session will be about libraries as industry, as business, and from the beginning, Cathy De Rosa makes it clear that this is the intent. I like that they do not shy away from discussing libraries as business.

Omar Wasow – Library 2.0?
“Libraries must both inform and transform.”

There is a break in perceptions from what librarians think and what our users think.
The brand “library” stands for books, but our facilities are high on the list of what users think about. They are unhappy with the surroundings of the library: parking, signage, building rude staff, etc. The library is not just about technology; it is about the experience of the library.

How do libraries go from service to transformation? The business of libraries is to change people. Libraries feel elevated. It is a place to think. Many libraries have stairs at the beginning, signifying that the user is about to enter into an elevating experience.

Libraries are challenged by the quality of experience in the industries around us. They are arranged to do material management and not as a reading experience or a place for elevating oneself. We have to get better at merchandising what we do. Libraries should offer tools to help people have transformative experiences