2006 Midwinter Meeting Highlights

COMMITTEE = Services to Adults


CHAIRPERSON = Jessica E Moyer

DATES = Sat 1/21 and Mon 1/23

EMAIL = jessicaemilymoyer@gmail.com

MEMBERS_PRESENT = Members present:Pat Randle, Beth Roberts, Tim McDonough, Jessica Moyer

MEMBERS_ABSENT = Members absent:Elizabeth Blatz, Barbara Hauer, Helen Hejny, Jennifer Schatz, Sian Brannon (virtual member)

VISITORS = Visitors:none

OBJECTIVES = Learn more about structure and role of RSS and role and purpose of Services to Adults Committee

Plan, propose and present a program at Annual 2007 on marketing to Gen X library users with Marketing Committee

SUMMARY = Sat Meeting Summary (Monday meeting notes submitted by Christy Donaldson as meeting was held jointly with Marketing Committee)

Introduction of members.

Short discussion of what is the Services to Adults Committee as nearly all members are new.  As the longest serving member Tim gave us some good background on what the committee had done before. 

Spent most of the time discussing our idea for a program fo Annual 2007.  We decided to do a program jointly with the Marketing Committee about marketing services to adults.  We decided to focus on marketing to Gen x, mainly users who are in their 30 and may not have an economic incentive to use the library, ie they have internet at work and home and are more likely to go to bookstores to purchase books when they want something to read. 

Tim discussed his experience working at Borders and the small public library he works at and the many similiarities, many of the younger adults use the bookstore like a library and come there to hang out, especially on weekends, which was a phenomenon most of us had observed. 

As a group we talked about our experiences with big boosktores like Borders and why someone would go there instead of a public library.  For many people we thought it might be more comfortable, welcoming and safe than the library and it was more likely to be open the hours this group would want to use it, like weekend evenings.  The coffee shops and acceptance of cell phones in most bookstores is also a plus for this age group.  Also for single people the bookstore is considered a safe place to meet potential dates. 

Next we discussed how (and why) academic libraries should attract community users.  Jessica works at a community college with a lot of community users and Kay's institution, an LSU campus also gets a lot of community users (especially since Katrina) and functions more like a community college than a traditional academic library, like Penn State where Beth works.  Having computers open to the public is a big draw, especially when MS office suite is available on everything. 

We then talked about attracting users to libraries and getting them to use library services, like reference and readers advisory.  tim said that the group that we are targeting need to see a reason to use the library, right now they see no need for it.  They need to see that library services can meet one of their needs, which is why we wanted to do our program with marketing.  We think use of library services will not increase, especially by this age group, until library services are effectively marketed. 

We moved on to talk more about program ideas and the group we are wanting to reach.  We really want to showcase successes, not just talk theoretically about this idea.  Also Gen X, the last time they may have had an interaction with an adult services librarian was as a teenager and they felt unwelcome in the public library, or was as a college student, and now they are no longer in school they no longer see a need for the library.  They also tend to be internet savvy, another reason this group doesnt really need to go to the library - many know enough to answer ready reference type questions online to their satisfaction. 

Jessica recommended a book, the Customer Driven Library by Jeannette Woodward which compares libraries and bookstores and presents some interesting and thought provoking ideas.  We would really like to have her talk about our program. 

Before Annual Beth and Pat are going to do some lit searching as they have the best access to Library Lit and other databases.  They'll report back on Annual about reaching and serving Gen X. 

We talked a little about the elitism of librarians and some generational issues that may be going on between Boomer librarians and Gen X patrons. 

What does this group want in the library?
1 - Food and coffee
2 - Easy to access libraries, like mall branches
3 - higher noise levels are easily tolerated (Most of Borders is not all that quiet)

Program ideas
1 - small panel with speakers
2 - focus on successful programs
3 - opportunities for audience to give feedback, what has worked and not worked in their library
4 - something about the research in this area (Woodward seems to know a lot) Beth and Pat will be looking into this

Tim is going to see what he can get from Borders in regards to their market research as they clearly have done well reaching out to this group

Kay and Tim are both going to look for successful programs in academic and public libraries. 

We also decided to use a blog to work on this together and for communication.  Christy has set it up on blogger. 

Ended with a discussion of new technology and libraries and if we could incorporate this into our program. 

EVALUATION = As of May 06 the program proposal has been completed and submitted and the planning is underway. 

Everyone also has a better understanding of RSS and Services to Adults and we are all excited about being on this committee. 

PROBLEMS = I wasnt really sure of everything that went with being chair, mostly because it was my first time being chair and I was also new to RSS.  Once I talked to Dave and read the online handbook, things were fine. 

RECOMMENDATIONS = Making sure all new chairs know aobut the RSS webpage and handbook and know about executive committee meeting times.