Anonymous's picture

Libraries in the Age of Viral Marketing

On a library mailing list today I learned about the newest groundbreaking Google service:

I guess this is an example of viral marketing in action. It’s gotten me to wondering what should stop libraries from using viral marketing themselves? In recent years phenomena such as librarian action figures, librarians in television shows and movies, and the profession’s own marketing efforts have chipped away at the archetypal librarian’s stately hair bun. So, why must our efforts to inform the public of our services be confined to the droll?

gina.persichini's picture

Great Conference Opportunity!

September 15-16th is the Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference. The 4th Annual conference will be held in Portland over 2 days. It is conveniently scheduled in a way that allows for low-cost travel. The event will include Keynote Speaker Stephen Abrams.

jan.wall's picture


To see what the mindset of our current/future users might be, look at:

Page down and look at item #49, which mentions libraries!


    Anonymous's picture

    Article from the Observer

    When I returned to work, there was this e-mail waiting for me. It seems to be related just to library architecture, but ends up talking about the future of libraries. I enjoyed the article, and thought you might, too… Beth Hill, U of I, Moscow

    Architect of learning
    The reinvention of the college library

    By Sam Allis, Globe Columnist | July 31, 2005

    Good architects are a treat to talk to because they speak the language of
    design — a tongue we rarely hear. Developers and contractors traffic in
    their own argot and, as a general rule, pursue the vocabulary of design with
    the fluency of a Serbian speaking Sanskrit.

    Anonymous's picture

    Cool futures

    Of course, when I got home, the only things I could find were posts relating to futures. Future technologies, future concepts, the works.

    Anonymous's picture

    Books on the go

    How about this take on information on demand: book vending machines. Found this link on BoingBoing (truly, “A Directory of Wonderful Things”) via Yahoo! News. The implications? How about virtual information kiosks on busy street corners? 24/7 virtual reference terminals in bus stations or malls? Or an on-demand, computerized and temperature-controlled, with perfectly caffeinated calibration, cafe au lait dispensing machine next to my bed? You know, what you want, when you want it.

    Anonymous's picture

    What constitutes a library?

    When I got home from Boise last night, I checked my email and found a message about an interesting post on what constitutes a library at the blog :

    “The Madisonian Take on Libraries”

    There are some very interesting ideas noted there — gives us more food for thought to add to our discussions at the Think Tank.



      Anonymous's picture

      What fun!

      Several things I wanted to share with you all. First, a great big Thank You to Jan, Glen, all the presenters, and the folks at the Idaho State Library for the opportunity to come together and share/bounce ideas about library futures.

      Second, I wish I would’ve done a better of job of getting to know all the participants—next time I will make sure I introduce myself, shake your hand, and get to know you well enough to borrow money.

      Third, I’m still digesting everything that I heard and read and am percolating the implications involved to truly change my current mindset of “it’s possible” with the preferred future vision of “let’s do it!” I know I have to strengthen my guts (heart? head? being?) to start affecting change.

      Anonymous's picture

      …admitting our ignorance, our concerns, our fears

      This will be my last attempt at blogging before the conference. I realize I missed the boat by not responding regularly to what others had to say like Cayce does with Parkaboy in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. But, I do look forward to meeting all the characters in our drama face-to-face.

      I also finished The Age of Spiritual Machines, Good to Great and I’m working on Tomorrow Now along with many other documents and those in OCLC’s 2003 Environmental Scan. I bounced his writing about genetics off on an expert in the industry and had an enlightening conversation. It is hard to believe we will actually meet this author. It is an incredible opportunity.

      Anonymous's picture

      Last Random Thoughts Before Boise

      We as librarians — regardless of our type of library — hold knowledge in trust. Library school (at least mine!) said that we exist to meet the educational, recreational, and informational needs of our users. To do this, we assume a hubris that ranks right up there with the best in Greek tragedy: we confront and attempt to organize for use all human knowledge.

      Information is abundant; wisdom is rare. Should we be attempting to provide keys to wisdom as well as information?

      Video on demand is one of the “coming things.” Do you supposed that a “library on demand” is also possible?