Branding the library

Volume 40 NO. 4 2007

When you mention the word ‘library’, those who hear you begin to hum with satisfaction. Libraries in Scandinavia have a good reputation. This does not mean, however, that the library as a brand is doing well.
For most people, the library signifies free book loans. This old core concept will not change, but otherwise, the library image is changing drastically. In addition to the physical library spaces and collections, virtual services are being developed which are in principle accessible globally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The library is becoming a meeting place. Library patrons are eager to meet others with an interest in the same subjects. They want to find exciting contents in the book collections. For this, a specialist, that is to say, a librarian is needed who is able to guide visitors through the media.
Libraries are just learning to organize and productize new services. Re-defining the brand only succeeds when library professionals themselves know how to define the new library in one pithy phrase. Brands are expensive and much more need to be invested in informing and marketing than we have been used to until now.
So… what should this pithy phrase to define the new library be?

Seppo Verho

Translation: Turun Täyskäännös

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Managing Editor, Kirjasto-lehti