Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Slam the Malls!

Yesterday's "slam the boards" was apparently so successful (at least with librarians) that I think it should be taken a lot further. After all, there are information seekers everywhere, and just hanging out online killing time because it's more fun than doing your job isn't enough. No, you need to get out there in the big world and answer some questions!

My suggestion for a first stop - the mall! Slam those malls! Malls have those information kiosks where people ask things like, well, I don't know what kinds of questions they ask, but I bet some excited reference librarian could field the questions. And they have bookstores, which would make a lot of librarians feel at home. And just think of the exciting questions there must be at toy stores and lingerie stores and shoe stores. The excitement of satisfying those information seekers must be tremendous.

Usually, the gung-ho "marketing" librarians want to be all things to all people in one place, but with my new slamming the mall idea, librarians can be one thing to all people in one place, and maybe get a little shopping done in between questions.


Anonymous said...

Dea Al

Please attack Second Life as i am so jack of hearing about it on all th library poser blogs.
PLease also tell the dweebs that avatars are actually messengers from God in several easter religions, not animated Barbies in their silly role playing game

Fedup librarian

Dances With Books said...

And don't forget the adult stores. In the continuing quest to promote good Infoporn, what better than a librarian to field questions from what kind of "personal massager" to use to more "esoteric" fetishes to good reviews of the latest DVD's.

Karen N. said...

The Erie County Public Library has an actual branch in the Millcreek Mall. It seems like a new idea, but this one has been there for well over 20 years! http://www.erielibrary.org/

It's great! Return and get books where you shop. I even used it to use Consumer Reports before buying a major appliance.

Il Library Student said...

I knew some librarians that worked as paid employees of bookstores (supplement that meager library income!) and they frequently told stories of people coming into the bookstore to do research. The tipoff was when the person asked to use a photocopier to copy part of a reference book (such as an encyclopedia).

When they asked the customer why they didn't use the library, the person would look at them like they had just sprouted a third eye in the middle of their forehead.

Anonymous said...


How to create more interested in libraries and librarians so someone may at last notice them.

Solution 1:

Have mobile roving librarians go the shopping malls and freely answer shopper's questions.

chances of success: While more attention would come to the librarians via the mall security guards and suspicious shoppers, it probably wouldn't be the type they're looking for.

Solution 2

Move to the whole library TO the mall.

chances of success: While it would put the library smack dab in the middle of a bunch of people, the fact they can't buy any of the books would make it hard to pay the rent.

Solution 3

Put the library into a virtual Second Life mall.

chances of success: The librarians would definitely notice each other and a few residents, but trying to engage a 5 ft 2 homebody masquerading in the avatar of a 6 ft 9 wrestler/demigod may not produce much in the way of useful reference.

Anonymous said...

OK, I missed this whole thing. Yesterday, you say? Hmmm.

Well, back to my cave!


Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

I get asked questions when I'm at the grocery store! I'm not trying to be librarian there. I think I must give off some kind of "information scent"
Maybe it could be bottled and sold. Eau de information.
That would be fun - name the scent of a librarian.

Karen N. said...

Wait, did I say that mall in Erie, PA has had a library in it for over 20 years? No, it's actually been
32 years: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3858/is_200603/ai_n17184020

Karen N. said...


Karen N. said...

Okay, The link is here

That's better.

Bill Pardue said...

Frankly, I like the mall idea quite a bit. And anything else that gets librarians beyond the reach of their buildings/sites/etc. and makes them more visible. One suburban Chicago library (forgive me if I forget which) apparently has had librarians serve as judges at a local club's trivia contest nights.

Anonymous said...

monkey is back to dancing ! yes!!!

Anonymous said...

Eau de Information

Anonymous said...

I remember this big truck that used to come to communities delivering books and other media when I was a little kid. Hmmm, what was it called? The roving library? The library on wheels? Oh, the bookmobile. Bring back the bookmobile!