We talk and hear a lot about how libraries provide value to their communities. But what does that really mean?
That’s a good question. Here’s a thought:
One way to better communicate the value libraries provide is to understand how our community members would define value and then build the capacity to explain our value on their terms.
—When Libraries Don’t Provide Value, from Designing Better Libraries.
So, first of all, ask your community! Next, consider that according to two customer strategy consultants, most human needs can be described by 30 building blocks that fit into four categories. Now, think about:
- what you know about your community
- what your community has told you
- those 30 building blocks of needs
What needs is your library fulfilling? Are they functional, emotional, life changing, or socially impacting? I think most libraries focus on the functional, which is fine, but I think we need to move to those other “higher” areas too. Read both stories, and tell me what you think!