Why The Heck Can’t We Change Our Product?
8 February, 2016
“Change” is the drumbeat powering most tech companies. If you are starting from scratch, disruption is easy. But once you have an established user base, and particularly if you are lucky enough to have a loyal and committed user base, implementing even necessary change risks alienating those who have an emotional commitment to your product. Evolution is necessary, however, and this article gives some advice for proceeding with caution.
Libraries usually have a loyal and established patron base, many of whom have an emotional commitment to our institutions. However, libraries are evolving to be more than just about books and journals, and seek to draw in new audiences and connect with new communities. Evolving library services and even our collections brings up some strong feelings (you can replay for yourself all the times you’ve heard about the value of serendipitous browsing in the stacks…) But the best defense is information: my colleagues Lynn Connaway and Ixchel Faniel have done much to explore user behaviors around new and refashioned library services, while Brian Lavoie and Constance Malpas have helped libraries to look at collections in a new light.