John Blyberg from the Ann Arbor District Library recently posted an ILS Customerâ€™s Bill of Rights, a very thoughtful reflection that you should definitely click through to. As I was reading it, however, I was also reminded of another bill of rights I recently came across, The Social Customer Manifesto. Itâ€™s actually a blog devoted to the social-software movement, but I found the tenets of the Manifesto quite intriguing (you can find them listed in the righthand sidebar on the site).
- I want to have a say.
- I don't want to do business with idiots.
- I want to know when something is wrong and what you're going to do to fix it.
- I want to help shape things that I'll find useful.
- I want to connect with others who are working on similar problems.
- I don't want to be called by another salesperson. Ever. (Unless they have something useful. Then I want it yesterday.)
- I want to buy things on my schedule, not yours. I don't care if it's the end of your quarter.
- I want to know your selling process.
- I want to tell you when you're screwing up. Conversely, I'm happy to tell you the things that you are doing well. I may even tell you what your competitors are doing.
- I want to do business with companies that act in a transparent and ethical manner.
- I want to know what's next. We're in partnershipâ€¦where should we go?
Obviously, this is very much geared toward the business world, but itâ€™s interesting to think about this list from the perspective of our patrons. Theyâ€™re not all applicable, but maybe an equivalent list for libraries would look something like this:
- I want to have a say, so you need to provide mechanisms for this to happen online.
- I want to know when something is wrong, and what youâ€™re going to do to fix it.
- I want to help shape services that Iâ€™ll find useful.
- I want to connect with others that share my interests.
- I want to use your services on my schedule, not yours. I donâ€™t care if itâ€™s noon, midnight, Sunday, or Christmas Eve.
- I want to know how your library works.
- I want to tell you when youâ€™re screwing up. Conversely, Iâ€™m happy to tell you the things you are doing well.
- I want to interact with institutions that act in a transparent and ethical manner.
- I want to know whatâ€™s next. Weâ€™re in partnershipâ€¦where should we go?
Libraries tend to know how to cover these bases in the physical world, but what else would you add for our online users? I love that librarians are finally exploring ways for libraries to use these new social tools to give patrons these kinds of options.