Wednesday, July 24, 2013

PL 15/13: The retail library

Filed under: library 2.0, statistics — plinius @ 9:15 am

In a digital environment libraries need to study their customers in order to serve their needs.

Retailers know this. Here is a case from the Netherlands.

The retail concept was based on a customer survey that took place in 2003. The reason for the survey was the construction of a new central library in Almere Stad. The key questions of the survey were:

  • What function should this new library have and what do our customers expect of us?
  • Who are our customers exactly?

Nationwide there was a downward trend in number of memberships. Why?

  • Did we not live up to expectations?
  • Did we solely focus on supply instead of demand?

The survey showed that

  • 80% of our customers do not visit the library with a specific idea of what they want
  • our classification of the collection did not correspond with the interests of these customer segments.
  • the average duration of stay was very limited.

They decided to try a new concept in one of the branches

  • ‘Shops’ were created, with a mixture of fiction and non-fiction corresponding to the interest profiles of the five customer groups.
  • The shops also underwent a facelift to change the rather boring interior
  • We made extensive use of pictures in the signage,
  • We attracted an interior designer and bought new furniture.

Despite our enthusiasm and good hopes our experiment was not widely accepted within the branch.

But the results surpassed expectations. In five years:

  • the number of loans per capita increased by 13%
  • the number of visitors per capita increased by 15%



1 Comment »

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    Comment by Garnet — Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 9:06 am

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