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Designing Better Libraries by steven j bell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Archive for category Uncategorized

Librarians Still Matter In a Self-Serve World

Let’s face it. Community members can manage their research and a host of other library chores pretty well in the library web environment without the need of intervention from library personnel. I’m a fan of promoting self-service in libraries. Many, not all, community members prefer self-service options. In a world of ATM machines, airport check-in […]






Convenience Trumps Quality? Blame Joe Thompson

In the age of customer expectations, convenience rules. Short on time, too busy to learn something new, focused more on the surface than the complexity lying below it, the contemporary consumer – and our typical library community members – demonstrate their preference for convenience. Many library services and resources are a poor fit for convenience […]






Discovering Inspiration In The Retail Sector

Some bad news came for two large retailers at the end of 2011. Sears Holding Corporation, the parent of Sears and K-Mart, announced that it would close 100-120 stores across the United States. With some 4,000 outlets, this amounts to just a small percentage of the total stores. Unlike most of our libraries, retail stores […]






Good Experiences Are The Best Defense Against Badvocacy

One of my job responsibilities at the Temple University Libraries is to serve as the official complaint department. That’s right. The complaints and suggestions are funneled to me. I investigate each one personally or will assign a staff member to look into it. We explore what went wrong and then work to resolve the problem […]






Signposts On The Road To The Library User Experience

Two things happened this past week that stood out for me as signposts that more librarians are becoming familiar with the user experience concept. It is mixed news. It is good that more librarians in all spheres of the profession are gaining awareness about library user experience. What is not so good are the signs […]