David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends.
He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David is a Library Journal Mover and Shaker.
His newest book is Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections.
David blogs at http://www.davidleeking.com
Here are six improvements you can make, or at least start, in 2016. They include:
One of the largest problems today's library faces is that our customers simply don't know everything we do. Yes, they know we have books. Yes, they probably know we do some programming. But many of our customers don't know about all the other amazing things we do as libraries. Guess what? This is simple to fix. You simply need to start sharing. In the building, on the website, and in the community. Which leads us to #2...
Yes, you heard that right. Signage about the library's website … inside the building. Go visit your favourite retail store to see how they do it (the Disney Store is a great example). They have pointers to their website and to social media on signs, inside the building. It's a great way to remind your in-building library customers about your digital offerings and services. Which leads us to #3...
It's 2016. Your library's website needs to be mobile-friendly. Period. If it's not yet, start reading up on Responsive design.
Have you heard about the HTTPS Everywhere project? If not, you should consider reading up on the project. It's an easy way to help protect your patrons' privacy.
Yes - one boring improvement. It's 2016, and time to delete stuff. Do you have 10-year old emails? Project files from 3 years ago that you haven't looked at … in 3 years? Time to delete. Believe me, your system administrator will thank you!
Last year, makerspaces was a hot trend. This year, let's expand that trend just a bit by taking the “geek” out of it. Offer more hands-on classes, “messy” classes where you get your hands dirty, and some tinker time at the library. Work on actively attracting a creative, tech-interested crowd that hasn't historically hung out at the library.
Those are my six areas. What are yours? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!