Books and Websites Customer Service in a Self-Check World Libraries Using 0

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Books and Websites

Customer Service in a Self-Check World
Libraries Using 2.0 (there are tons more of these every day)
Social OPAC from Ann Arbor

Employing many popular social software features such as tagging, personal list making, rating and reviewing, and viewing recent searches as tag clouds.
FAQ and list of feeds offered by Howard County Library Website

Library Blogs (there are many, many more)

Sonoma County Library Business Blog

Lansing Library Teen News Blog

St. Joseph County Library Game Blog

Marin County Free Library – What’s New

Waterboro Public Library H20boro

Libraries with MySpace pages:

Denver Public Library's MySpace -

Hennepin County Library -

University of Texas Library -

Kansas City Public Library -
Libraries with accounts:

Lansing Public Library -

San Mateo Library -
Pictures showing library programming on flickr from Beck-Bookman library in Kansas City

Sunnyvale Public Library - audio and video broadcasts of library programming
Denver Public Library - podcasts of kids stories
Orange County, Florida - vidcasting of story time
The L team - 1:49 fun video about reference librarians on YouTube
Birmingham Public Library - teen summer reading program video (well done)

New Service Models

Library a Go Go article explaining Newport Beach Library outreach to parks and beaches

No fines in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District in Washington

Information Neighborhoods at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Library Journal article

Sarah Houghton’s blog posts on Future of Libraries conference in California

The first is on roving reference, the second link is to a post on Joan Frye Williams keynote outlining six strategies for serving customers.

Power Users – Library Buildings 2005 - Designing buildings and services from the end user’s viewpoint transforms access for everyone

Self-check success article for Pierce county from Library Journal

Library 2.0 Service for the next-generation library by Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk 9/1/2006

Good Customer Service via Library Websites
Phoenix Public Library

Phoenix Public library does many innovative things with their website. Check out their use of BISG (Book Industry Standards Group) categories on the left side of their homepage and the “View More in Books” link to see staff recommendations and popular titles complete with book jacket images. Also check out the very user-friendly results from a catalog search.
Hennepin County Public Library

Hennepin County Public Library in Minnesota has a great website. Check out the Bookspace section and user-friendly names of things to click on (i.e, “Find a Good Book”). There are book discussion options online available right from the homepage, as well as opportunities to write reviews. The website can be viewed in Espanol, Soomaali and Hmoob. There is also a good FAQ on websites versus databases.

Kansas City Library

The website promotes current events on the homepage of the website and has a long list of “today’s events.” I think this is a good example an library acting more as a community hub, and not just as a place to get information.

Yorba Linda Public Library

Good use of feeds on this library website of this California library, with “most recently checked in” and “most recommended” front and cente,r giving life to the homepage. They also do a Good Reads program: “Not only are there recommendations by genre, bestsellers, and buzz-worthy books, but your favorite librarians will share their own lists with you. Each book has a review and is linked to the library catalog for easy browsing.”

Allen County Public Library

Allen County Public Library in Indiana has a lot of nice, customer-friendly features. When you go to search the catalog there is a list of recommended lists and book prizes. When you click on one of them you see everything that is on the list and in the catalog.
Queens Library

Queens Library in New York has website available in five languages: English, Espanol, Francais, and 3 other languages which I can’t read ;) Also try a search in their catalog to see how Aquabrowser works. Check out the graphic on the left showing you related terms to your search.
Litclick Poject

Litclick Poject from Elmwood Park Library uses the Netflix model of offering books by mail.
Marylaine Block article on how Library 2.0 Means Better Service

How Our Users See Us
Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources 2005

Far-reaching examination of user perceptions of libraries, based upon a survey of over 3300 respondents internationally. Includes a section on library electronic resources and users’ understanding of them.
Usable Library Terminology

Library Terms That Users Understand

Clearinghouse of studies on web usability with a focus on which terminology used on library web pages is most likely to be understood by users. Positive and negative examples, primarily from academic libraries, can be found in the Best Practices section and the links there. Includes a useful bibliography.

Multilingual Library Terminology Glossary

Glossary of 47 commonly-used library terms. Definitions are in English, with the terms listed in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, and Spanish.


Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki

A place for librarians to share all the interesting things they are doing at their libraries that they consider a success. It’s separated into categories. The Information Sharing and Education Section is where the use of 2.0 and websites to serve customers is shared.
Lori Ayre’s (a library consultant) List of Libraries to Watch

A great set of bookmarks.
Customer Service Skills for Libraries of the Future


Why We Buy, The Science of Shopping, Paco Underhill. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2005.
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. New York : William Morrow, 2005.
The Experience Economy, Joe Pine and James Gilmore. HBS Press, 1999.
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, by Steve Krug. New Riders Publishing, 2000.

World Is Flat - Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Thomas L. Friedman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

Books and Websites for Customer Service in a Self-Check World

Self Service on a Budget Presented by Kelley Worman and Kathleen Smith of the Fresno County Public Library at the ARSL Conference September 2008 - This material has been created by Cheryl Gould for the Infopeople Project [], supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. Any use of this material should credit the author and funding source.

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