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.
Read David's other articles…
Think in terms of providing both active and passive technology for your customers.
Active and passive technology? What's the difference?
This is technology that your customers aren't directly aware of and not directly interacting with. When passive technology works well, your customers probably won't notice it. Passive technology doesn't get in the way of the customer, but instead it helps them out in the background.
Examples of passive technology include:
Customers directly interact with active technology in the library. Customers touch it, figuratively or literally. They engage with active technology.
Examples of active technology include:
See the difference between active and passive technology? Both are important, and both are needed in a library.
When it's time to dust off your library's technology plan, start thinking about technology needs from the customer's viewpoint. What technology is needed that is necessary but might not be noticed? Plan for some passive technology in the background of your customer's experience.
Also plan for active technology needs. Find out what your patrons really want to do, and help them achieve their goals with some active technology that helps the customer interact with your library, your stuff, and your staff.