Bronwyn's Library Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Library data - promiscuous - vital

Thanks to Jessamyn for the link to Seeking Skunkworks and Promiscuous Library Data.

Sifting through the tech language, I see an impassioned call for more user-friendly interfaces for library data.

It really is another case of the need to look outside the square at the information we collect in our libraries.

I am reminded of a letter to the editor of Incite from Jeff Cabral in New Zealand who made a very good case for using patron data to build better collections and to underpin direct marketing campaigns.

Just two paragraphs from his letter:

“Still, perhaps we’re taking our guardianship roles a bit too seriously – rather than guarding the collection and preserving the customer’s identity, it’s also important to consider how well we actually communicate about our collections and provide service to customers. Let’s just at least remember to think about the customer and how we can enhance service…..

One of the most important recognised assets of any decent-sized business is its customer database. So much so that companies insure them, they invest in them … and, ultimately, they even assess them as financial assets on their balance sheets … What about marketing? Direct marketing? …


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