or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


CIL2007 Wednesday – Improving Content through Conversations with Customers

   April 19th, 2007 Brian Herzog

The second session in the "tailoring library services to patrons needs, based on patron input" theme was "Improving Content through Conversations with Customers," led by Rich Wiggins from Michigan State.

This dealt primarily with analyzing search logs. The search logs from library websites can be viewed as an open letter from patrons to libraries, telling us exactly what they want us to provide to them. We need to pay attention to:

  • what people are search for
  • what they're finding
  • what they're not finding
  • how and when they're searching
  • where they're searching from

Then, we need to restructure our offerings accordingly (including things like compensating for common misspellings). Pushing information to them will probably not work, so we need to be prepared (with efficient searches and findable information) with what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

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