UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

What do library users want?

Posted by AJ Cann on 21 July, 2008

ideascale I don’t personally use the Digg website much, although I do look at some of the RSS feeds from the site. One thing which is very clear about Digg is the fanatical loyalty it manages to generate in its users. By allowing people to vote up (or down) their favourite stories, Digg captures the hearts and minds of users through tapping into the phenomenon of “continuous partial attention“.

Now, I can’t think of any circumstances where a library would want to cature the hearts and minds of its users, but then again, I’m not a librarian, so it’s possible that someone else here might be able to 😉

And that where Ideascale comes in. Ideascale lets you set up your own Digg-clone so that people can vote on things. Like whether there are enough books in the library, the coffee is too expensive, or that librarians should all wear Star Trek-style uniforms. Or whatever.

Of course, it might be that this level of participatory democracy is just a little bit too scary, or that it might be better not to know what library users think, or to give them a voice. After all, we’ve never done that sort of thing before, so why start now?

2 Responses to “What do library users want?”

  1. sarahw9 said

    I don’t know about library users what about staff in the library ;-), but seriously, its very interesting idea but it brings us back to the old chestnut of how to get people to paritipate in the first place.

    – Blackboard: Perhaps put questions / topics (very occasionally) into blackboard where students can’t miss it?
    – Library website? that may be an interesting experiment in itself to see what take up would be (if any? or even encourage library website traffic if interesting enough).
    – library catalogue?

    Any more thoughts anyone?

  2. ajcann said

    I think if you put the questions on Blackboard, pretty much everyone will be guaranteed to miss them! As I understand it, IdeaScale allows people to set and vote on the questions. The data is clear, if you want feedback on the Libary site, the links to IdeaScale would need to be displayed prominetlky on the Library site, or people simply won’t follow them.

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