November 17, 2017

Brian Herzog | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Marketers

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Brian Herzog, Mover & Shaker

Library Riches

Back in 2002, Brian Herzog, then a marketing professional and nascent techie, realized that “although I enjoyed what I was doing—working with customers, playing with technology, doing creative marketing—I just didn’t like the business world [with] everything always focused on the bottom line and making money,” as he writes on his active web site, the Swiss Army Librarian. So he quit his job and headed for an MLIS degree.

The head of reference at Chelmsford Public Library (CPL) for the last five years, Herzog today uses his talent for technology and marketing to help libraries across the country communicate something crucial about their own bottom lines.

The Library Use Value Calculator, which lets patrons figure out what their library use would cost were they to pay retail for it, began as a simple spreadsheet by the Massachusetts Library Association. Herzog made it interactive in 2007 and posted it to CPL’s web site. It then spread to hundreds of libraries. Last June, when the American Library Association teamed up with Safeway to promote libraries on a series of special-edition cereal boxes, the calculator was a prime feature of the version touting how to Get Rich @ your library.

Vermont library consultant and prominent biblioblogger Jessamyn West highlights another of Herzog’s projects that has also gone library-viral. Launched on October 15, 2008, Work Like a Patron Day “encouraged librarians to go into their libraries…and see what the user experience was for a user, not a power user,” says West. Relying on public computers, the patron interface for searching the catalog, even using the public bathrooms have proved enlightening for many librarians. Says West, “It helped people see what it looks like from the other side of the desk but in a fun way that really got the point across.” For Herzog, being a librarian makes him a very rich man.

Vitals

Brian Herzog, Chelmsford Public Library, MA

CURRENT POSITION Head of Reference

DEGREE MLIS, Kent State University, 2005

BLOG Swiss Army Librarian, www.swissarmylibrarian.net

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