Which environment?

We are used to thinking about the user in the library environment. This will continue to be important.

A major part of our challenge moving forward is thinking about the library in the user environment.

The user is increasingly a network person, who may move through several environments.

Comments: 1

Apr 24, 2005
Paul Miller

True, and complicated further by exploring when and how we pluralise!

"A major part of our challenge moving forward is thinking about" libraries "in the user environment."

The user may very well, after all, wish access to library services from their local public library, from the public library local to their place of work, from a national or regional library, and from the library associated with their place of work or learning.

Or even

"A major part of our challenge moving forward is thinking about" libraries in the user's environments.

At the moment, we have nothing approaching what a user environment should be, as we're stuck in an unfortunate morass of VLEs, MLEs, VREs, digital libraries, portals, Amazons, Customer Relationship Management systems, and on, and on, and on.

Nirvana may be just around the corner. But as we personalise more and more, and systems become smarter and smarter, we may very well find a real or perceived need to fragment the single, smart, user environment that we are currently aiming towards. Try ordering a Mr Man book, and see how it messes up your Amazon recommendations! It may be that we end up actively reinforcing the division between our different personas (parent, employee, student, etc), and looking for separate systems to support each. Importantly, though, these divisions will be driven by us, rather than the organisations with which we interact.