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Libraries Need to Be Cool! March 7, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.

Libraries are Cool

Libraries need to be Cool.  Libraries need to Rock.  I am committed to fight for libraries.  Why?  Because I am a Librarian.


Our customers need us to Rock.  People who aren’t our customers need to look in our direction and see us in new ways, and give us some of their attention, some of their valuable time. We desperately need their devotion for life.  So much is vying for their attention.  We need to get their attention……and keep it.  Libraries need to rock, to be cool.  Why?   To survive…to thrive…to be valuable….to be essential for our customers.


I have heard many librarians proclaim arrogantly that we are not in competition with the video store, the DVD store, Google, iTunes, and YouTube.  But we are! WE ARE!

Libraries desperately need to be cool.  We need to take off our stuffy hat, get out of our safe box, and provide cool things for free, even something simple like downloadable audio books, videos, and music.   We need to be the “funnest”, coolest place in town and on the Net.   We need to constantly WOW our customers.  We need to WOW each other.  We need to be the best.  We need to win over our customers.

We need to love libraries so much that nothing is going to get in our way.  Let’s commit to this.  Let’s Rock!  Let’s make sure libraries have a “Second Life”.

Sharyn Heili



1. Matthew - March 17, 2007

I wish I could have been that enthusiastic when I was a public librarian. 18 months of public librarianship, a job that cost me at a minimum two hundred dollars to keep each month after I subtracted my expenses from my earnings, and I wanted to kill patrons, not figuratively but literally I wanted to kill two patrons. Luckily I had the strength to keep from doing so.

2. Woeful - March 17, 2007

We need funding.

3. cliveyoung - March 17, 2007

Not a librarian, just married to one and I do a lot of library programs for cash on the side. I agree with you, but man, directors and, more importantly, library boards, don’t see it that way. They don’t realize that people are seeing libraries less as a place to get books, or even DVDs. With packaged media on its way out, libraries are becoming a more intellectual version of the local community center. If that’s the case, then they have to ramp up the program budgets, computer budgets and offer a wider range of activities–that in turn relate back to the core offerings of any library: books. I can’t tell you how many libraries I’ve done a program at, and no one thinks to pull, say 6-7 books on the topic to put at the doorway as patrons walk in. On the rare occasion that a library does that, every single book is gone by the end of the program, and you can find people combing the stacks for more books. It’s a physical world version of a link on a blog–and it’s the most obvious idea in the world. There’s a ton of similar obvious ideas for libraries to glean from new medias, and they’ll help keep ‘da place with da books’ a lot cooler and up to date.

4. Anon - March 19, 2007

Could you clarify what you mean by “rock”?

5. Becky Carroll - March 23, 2007

What you said about libraries also applies to business in general, both for-profit and non-profit. When libraries look at their customers and their needs, and put on a Customers Rock! attitude, they will find themselves much more “cool” and “sick” (as my teenage sons say).

Glad to see you wanting to make this happen!


6. Olio/Olla podrida/Mulligan stew/Stone soup « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub - March 26, 2007

[…] school libraries:  We’re not talking about air conditioning. Explore posts in the same categories: Charles Darwin, Public libraries, Elections, History blogs, […]

7. Who are You Competing With? « Customers Rock! - March 27, 2007

[…] a librarian and writes the blog Libraries and Librarians Rock.  She says in her recent blog post Libraries Need to be Cool: Libraries need to rock, to be cool.  Why?  To survive…to thrive…to be […]

8. Hunter - October 4, 2007

You need to check out North Carolina State Library’s new learning commons area…. the newly renovated area has at least 5 HDTVs along the walls with tons of new computers (1/4 of them Apples). The design of the area sparks creativity and more and more students are using the multimedia rooms for group projects. If your ever in Raleigh, NC, be sure to come and check it out.

9. Librarydude - August 27, 2008

You want libraries to rock?

Check out Get It Loud In Libraries


Rest assured library rocking is happening in the UK

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