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January 4, 2011 / Brent Sears

Ask a Librarian

So, I was sitting in a mall food court with Simon, one of the most creative people I know, and we were talking about the future of reading.  A new iPad was sitting on the table and we were talking about the Kindle Apps and their usefulness in learning on the go.  The changes in libraries alone is beyond belief.

If was that idea that got me thinking.  Doesn’t our local public library system have electronic books for loan?  I think I had heard they were buying a specific number of licenses and patrons could use them.  So we accessed the website and there was an Ask a Librarian tab which allows for chat 24/7.  It was after 7pm EST, so we decided to Ask.

Turns out Sherrie was very helpful.  She was also located in Washington State.  She looked up our questions online, found out that there were eBooks for loan in our area, sent us the link, and then asked if we had any other questions.  The experience reminded me of a similar situation I had back in July with Amanda from Ireland.  It took less than 5 minutes, cost nothing, and worked so much better than any customer experience I had had in the last few months.

In short, finding information is changing.  We can connect with anyone, for almost no money, and find useful information.  Where will libraries be in the next 10 years?  I don’t know, but if the service is that good and that fast I will be using them for years to come.

Thanks Sherrie in Washington!

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