Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ALA Notable Books and Outstanding Reference Works

Notable Books: The 2010 Selection of Titles
via RUSQ by angie on 6/23/10

Outstanding Reference Sources: The 2010 Selection of Titles
via RUSQ by angie on 6/23/10

Refresher: The Reference Interview

Although we know there are a lot more steps to it, the basic ideas presented in this post are good to keep in mind. It's a kind of "decision tree."

Are you sure you understand the question?
Is the patron looking for a specific item?
Is the patron looking for a subject?
Is the question about something local?
Is your answer still “no” or “I don’t know” - what else can you do?

Tips and tricks as you move along this decision tree are in the article. I suggest the whole thing!

Checklist Manifesto for the Reference Desk via Swiss Army Librarian by Brian Herzog on 6/29/10

Monday, June 21, 2010

How Do Your Customers Define Status?

Been a little late on my summaries. This is from May/June 2010

Look at the types of status that are important to consumers. Which ones would work with your library? What would your library do to promote yourselves as a "vendor" of these kinds of status?

"Like it or not, the need for recognition and status is at the heart of every consumer trend*. Status is the ultimate (hidden) motive, a subconscious but ever-present force."

Trendwatching has found that luxury is no longer the only status symbol. In fact, there is an entire STATUSPHERE to be explored.

As consumers are starting to recognize and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, 'new' status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity... All of this makes for a far more diversified 'STATUSPHERE' than most brands and organizations have traditionally catered to. Time to really figure out how and where your customers are now finding their status fix.

Traditional consumption is about buying (and enjoying and showing off) more and/or better stuff than fellow consumers. We’ve dubbed this the BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER realm. Which is by no means dead.

And even if (a big if) conspicuous consumption were ever to subside significantly in mature consumer societies, then count on the emerging middle classes in China, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil to pick up the slack.

Status Stories
...when it comes to experiences, status can only be derived from being seen by others—while experiencing the experience, which may be a relatively brief moment—or by telling others about the experiences afterwards (which can go on for years ;-). experiences and non-consumption-related expenditures take over from physical (and more visible) status symbols, consumers will increasingly have to tell each other stories to achieve a status dividend from their purchases. Expect a shift from brands telling a story, to brands helping consumers tell their own status-yielding stories to other consumers.

Generosity - Generation G is still going strong as a status symbol
Now, one of the most important drivers behind GENEROSITY is the collaborative/free /creation/crowdsourced/gift/ sharing movement that—especially online—has unlocked in entirely new ways the perennial need of individuals to feel part of the greater good, to contribute, to help. But the online world of course also makes it easy to showcase and share one's acts of altruism.

The status-implications for non-profit organizations, and B2C brands big on giving initiatives? Work harder on helping your consumer-donors show and tell others about their donations and contributions!

Green Credentials and Consumption
Consumers' interest in green credentials will lead to even more eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic markers and design, that help their eco-conscious owners show off their eco-credentials to their peers.

Also count on a massive increase in green stories (as told by consumers) (see Status Stories above:) detailed information on (eco-friendly) sourcing, production, ingredients and distribution all represents a potential benefit to consumers who are keen on sharing their green status stories. And the concept is extra attractive for service providers, who often don't have physical products with which to convey their eco credentials.

By the way, what will make green stories even more powerful is the fact that while each individual can ‘do their bit’ on the environmental issues, their actions are going to be wasted unless everybody else does the same. (See Generation G above) This gives individuals a great excuse to share their stories and to enjoy a status boost from occupying the moral high ground.

In The Know Skills
To be on the inside, to be in the know, to have access, to be knowledgeable, but also, to be able to lead the way to the unique, the avant-garde, the cool, the latest, the cutting-edge... This is now an established source of status, from consumers-turned-experts, to younger audiences obsessed with coolhunting.

Anything you as a brand can do to assist the pursuit of deep or trivial knowledge will be appreciated. As long as the content is of superior quality, of course

We're talking friends on Facebook, Twitter followers and Retweets, the number of views for a photo on Flickr or a video on YouTube. These are all symbols and numbers that are associated with one’s social status and that can be shared instantly and on a potentially large scale in the CONNECTIVITY realm.

This will then lead to an even-bigger need for consumers to 'feed', maintain, and improve their online presence with a steady stream of content: thoughts, photos, videos, songs, opinions, stories and so on.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Twilight Zone - It Just Keeps Happening

Sales of Wuthering Heights quadruple in the past year due to the Twilight effect (how do your copies look?)

Twilight makes top ten list of most challenged books

Twilight influences baby names
ACK! Jacob is, of course, a common name. Imagine all the Cullens and Bellas that will be in storytime soon!

Genre Talk-Mystery, Jean Auel, Street Lit, Tyra Banks

Big, Big, Big News!
Jean Auel's final book in the Series - Next March!

BEA has its big book: Jean Auel’s final volume
via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 5/27/10

By Cindy Orr
Big news from BEA today. According to Publishers Weekly, Jean Auel’s final volume in her Earth’s Children series will be published by Crown on March 29, 2011. The title is The Land of Painted Caves. No ISBN yet, and it’s not even listed at Amazon, but this will be huge, so word will spread fast. My advice? Put it in your catalog anyway, including the pub date. That’s the cleanest way to make your public service staff look like heroes. More info at the PW website. You might want to check the condition of the other five volumes in the series as well


RA Run Down
via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 5/16/10
Oh yeah, can’t wait…Tyra Banks to write fantasy novels
She has already finished the first, called "Modelland", which is about a teen girl in a make-believe society at an academy for exceptional models called Intoxibellas. It will be published in the summer of 2011.



First-Rate Genre Reads: The Best of the Short List
via Library Journal - Collection Development on 5/14/10
Each year the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association's Reading List Council selects the best genre fiction...


The Word on Street Lit: Kiki Swinson, Endy & Noire
via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 4/14/10


Cozies: 22 Core Titles
via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 4/7/10