Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The new library model?

In yesterday's Ottawa Citizen newspaper, there was a column by Roger Collier entitled, A few bad ideas for promoting the library. What he meant by 'bad ideas' is the amount of email spam that libraries are sending out as a method to attract more readers.

I've not been spammed by my local library in fact, the only email I receive from the Ottawa Public Library are notices that either a book I have reserved is now in, or that the book(s) I have checked out will be due in a few days time. I find that highly efficient and am pleased they haven't resorted to spam.

He was also lamenting the fact that the printed word has too much competition these days. Nothing new there. What did give me pause, were the numerous methods used by some libraries in other countries, to expand the number of visits to through their doors. If you didn't read it, imagine this: your public library now offers "oil changes, financial planning and MRI scans", all in the name of one-stop shopping for today's busy readers. Just imagine, the library could become the Shopper's Drug Mart or the Canadian Tire of your area!

The fact that "Sweden requires all it librarians to also be certified personal trainers" got me wondering if a gym was attached to each branch.

My favourite is in Oslo, Norway where "deep-tissue massage and an international buffet with more than 200 dishes" are offered. I could spend many happy hours reading in that library.

What about it? Is Canada ready for this revolution in one stop shopping? Would these ideas truly increase the number of people reading? What about hooking the kids? They're hot-wired to their computers and they certainly don't need oil changes. That's where the future of the library lies. But maybe there's a way to hook them, too...computers, anyone? Oh, right...we all ready offer them. So what's next?

Here's the link to the column: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/search/search.html?q=Roger%20collier&sort=date

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. You realize, of course, that the column is satirical. If the content doesn't alert you, the tag line should.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Oops, meant to add my suggestion of a dog grooming parlour -- most dog lovers I know love to read!