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China Miéville
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Aron Nimzowitsch
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Ted Kooser
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Francis Fukuyama
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The Customer-Focused Library: Re-Inventing the Public Library From the Outside-In

The Customer-Focused Library:  Re-Inventing the Public Library From the Outside-In - Joseph Matthews I couldn't quite give it three stars; it contained far too much "power language", and reads as a little gimmicky.

Most of the book is spent either in useless experiments in typography (ironic, since it criticizes many libraries for poor signage) or in telling the reader about all the terrible things they're doing wrong. Most librarians or trustees are probably already aware of this. A reader who isn't either of those must be really bored to be reading this book in the first place.

The remainder of the book is spent telling us how a few of these problems could be solved. However nearly every section is solved by telling us we need more space. Oh, and FEWER books.

This is immensely frustrating as a Trustee on the board of a tiny library. I mean this is the smallest library I've ever ENTERED. More space isn't an easy fix, it's probably the hardest thing for us to attain in fact.

Now an astute reader will be thinking "fewer books? Do tell!" This is from changing how books are arranged, cataloged, and displayed. Few would disagree that customers (patrons) have an easier time seeing and becoming interested in books displayed as they often are in a bookstore: Flat, with the cover out. Of course, this takes up more room, since if you tried to display the entire collection this way instead of spine out, you'll run out of room before you run out of books. This is usually presented as a "plus" since you don't need to spend as much budget on books, since you're then not buying as many of them.

A more astute reader will immediately see the inherent problems with having fewer books in the library. Astute readers tend to want MORE books, after all.

So this book is ok, but not better than that. A single page telling me to somehow pony up a few million to build a new, larger library would have been quicker.