Inviting the User – Making the Library More Like a Bookstore

Solomon, Samantha


Cornwall, G. (2018). How Genrefication Makes School Libraries More Like Bookstores. [online] KQED. Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2018].

This article describes genrefication and includes interviews with librarians who have a range of experience around it. The article includes several before and after stories and includes arguments on both sides of the debate from real librarians in the field.

I was drawn to this article because my library is genrefied and I feel very strongly about how that serves my students. When I have kids who come in and say “Do you have any horror books?” It is SUPER easy to show them where that section is and then just let them browse. In talking with other librarians about their feelings around genrefication, it seems that schools with more developed cultures around reading feel they don’t need it as much as schools with more nascent reading cultures.

How AI can enhance our memory, work, and social lives

Persinger, Danielle


Gruber, T. (2017). How AI can enhance our memory, work and social lives. TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved from:

Tom Gruber, the co-creator of Siri, spends ten minutes discussing the future of learning and human interaction with Artificial Intelligence. This movement toward the future is not something to fear, rather it should be embraced. AI will offer new ways to perform our jobs and live our lives. Using AI in addition to humans, we can find 99.5% of cancerous cells, mitigate memory loss, and create infinite design ideas.

I’m a TED talks junkie. This video is fascinating and leaves me hopeful for the future. There are many ways we are already using AI to improve our lives and create a “super human” ability i.e. using Siri to remember deadlines and stay on track is a super human feat in my book. This technology will only continue to grow and I cannot help but be excited about the possibilities of increased equality opportunities.

Asking the right questions

Hoff, Jane
Z-UX User Experience
Schmidt, A. (2016, May 4). Asking the right questions | the user experience. Retrieved from
Asking the right questions
Summary:  The author calls into question the age-old tactic of “give the consumer what they want” when planning library services.  The author points out that the responsibility then falls on the shoulders of those we aim to serve rather than the knowledgeable professionals trained to make such decisions.  He does advocate putting patrons’ needs first, however he suggests a different angle for gathering necessary information that will help LIS professionals create and design services around the needs of patrons.  Rather than asking a broad question of “what do you want in a library?” the author suggests asking, “how do you like to spend your time?” and “what interests do you have that you wish you had more information available to you?
Review:  I really like how the author reframes the idea of serving our patrons and creating a user-focused design.  After years of customer service, where “the customer is always right,” I understand the conundrum that the author presents.  All too often the customer is not exactly right.  Too often the customer is not prepared to make decisions on the strategic plan of a business, and to follow the customer demands might in fact lead to failure.  But when you evaluate what the consumer (a broad swath of customers) are responsive to in the product or service you offer, you will have a fairly accurate direction to follow for success.  In library service, especially school library service where one’s budget is limited, it makes sense to ask questions that lead to understand trends that can serve the community better, rather than responding the few individuals who ask directly for a service or resource.  Asking a community how they spend their time, or how they would like to spend their time, might be a more feasible way of serving the community as a whole.