Engaging Patrons Online

The recent Library Journal article on the Anythink Libraries (also see my post on their PLA session in March) prompted me to visit their website to see how that had been revolutionized.  I liked the “word board” which gives an immediate opportunity for visitor participation (see the Find Your Words link) and the Goodreads book group, but it got me thinking of other ways to make customers part of the library.

What about setting up an easy to use video camera and asking patrons to record 2 minutes on what they think of the library?  Ask for their permission to use the clip and quote them as desired so highlights could be featured in presentations to funders, commercials, articles, website promotions etc.  It’d also be a cool multimedia installation and a good way for new residents to find out what others like about the library.

And what about using the business tactic of popup surveys to see how you’re doing and get memorable quotes?  Design it so each user only gets it once (unless they just delay completing it or seek it out on your website) and you won’t get complaints about the distraction.

And of course, offer opportunities for users to provide reviews-anonymously, or attributed-for all the services and programs you provide.

I’d love to hear about ways you’ve found to let your patrons be a part of the online library, so please, share your experiences.

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