“Merchandising” the desks

At risk of seeming lazy, here is a link to a short piece in the Chronicle about changing our circulation and reference desk models. I personally think merchandising is a poor choice of word; it does not accurately describe the intent. Rather than treat services desks like a ticket counter, the article argues, treat them like a bakery or jewelry store. Nope, that does NOT mean we are going to run our libraries like businesses (we all know how that story ends and it ain’t Cinderella.) Rather, it means let’s identify the responses and interactions we want from and with our patrons. Then look at available models that elicit those responses and interactions and STEAL from them. Steal shamelessly. I do hope Brian Mathews publishes follow-ups that speak to the successes and challenges these models bring. I for one am intrigued.

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