The aim of merchandising is to make each library’s collection as effective as possible. Great merchandising forms the bridge between the library and the patron—it helps readers discover books beyond the best sellers on the holds shelf. The challenge for libraries is that merchandising is a specialty in its own right.
At the end of our 2014 book, Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library, Amanda Etches and I left readers with what we consider to be an important and inspiring message: “Every decision we make affects how people experience the library. Let’s make sure we’re creating improvements.”
Libraries are all about access to information in its many forms, and librarians have a long and admirable tradition of striving to increase that access whenever they can. Several recent events have spurred me to think about real-world barriers—visible and invisible—and how seeing them in light of access to the library could influence services.
As librarians are aware, today’s cultural and business environments are rapidly shifting—often in highly unpredictable and disruptive ways. In the past few years alone, physical has quickly given way to digital (including cloud and app-based solutions), classroom-based education to distance learning, and community development efforts targeted at engaging Millennials into initiatives aimed at connecting with Generation Z and beyond.Researchers at IBM have uncovered a telling reason why: In their words, continuous change is the new normal. (Having published these findings roughly half a decade ago, it’s now more normal than new.)
Library embraces entrepreneurship; more graphic novels, not fewer; community outreach; and more letters to the editor from the September 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.