On libraries being more like Apple

The Information Activist has a few things to say about The Apple Way for Libraries (a Manifesto?).

I wanted to grab a snippet to give you a taste but if you work in libraries, you really should go and read the whole thing.

He says things like this:

Library’s need to regain control. Libraries need to have end-to-end products. We need to create a positive user experience, but without the ability to make necessary changes to a database, catalog, or other information resource, we simply cannot make the necessary changes.

And this:

If we have to teach classes on how to search, then maybe we need to pause and think. Are the systems being designed for the user, or do we design users for the system?

Not to mention this:

Remember patrons don’t need us anymore. In the past, distribution models and pricing caused a real need for us. Bookstore as we know them today, or knew them yesterday, did not exist like that. It used to be damn near impossible to get some books, especially in rural areas. Thomas Jefferson would wait up to 6 months for book to arrive from Europe. It’s now so easy and relatively cheap. Easy and fast beats free any day. And the notion that some can’t afford this stuff won’t care us forever. Instead we ought to focus on creating a want in our patrons for us. We do this through creating powerful user experiences. Experiences that we need to control, and we simply cannot do this in our current model.

Seriously, go and read it. You might not agree with everything, but I suspect you will find something to make you think long and hard about what your library is doing.

(via @hughrundle)