This is going to become increasingly important as the internet of things evolves. The amount of internet connected devices is increasing exponentially. Many libraries try to capitalize on trends, and grab onto every piece of technology that they can as a marketing tool. As our technology evolves everything -even refrigerators, watches, and umbrellas - will become interactive. We have to decide which of those tools are worth are time, and which need to be ignored. I know a lot of libraries have experimented with marketing via YikYak, SnapChat, and other emerging technologies just to have a presence; I'm not sure how sustainable this model is, and it will surely become less so over time. We have to choose the channels that allow us to control our message and to integrate our content in a meaningful way.
Which brings me to the next point: creating the contextual experience. For-profit business models will experience this differently, so the example given at the conference was "cloud based technology." Consumers do not care about "the cloud" - consumers care about what it can do for them, how it can enhance their lives, and how to customize it for their personal use. In our world, we should think about the library as our product. Our customers will not care about the library, but the will care about how it can fulfill their information needs, help them complete assignments, and how it can help them as individuals. We have to sell the experience of the library, rather than the library itself.
We also have to think about ways to deliver integrated content. Each library may choose to address this differently; I think I would personally prioritize access and education to e-resources into an easy to use portal. Not only do I want my students to be able to find and access the resources, but I want them to access multimedia content so they can get introductory training when a librarian is not available. Creating a single-service platform for this type of use will be imperative to hard skill development with library resources. Other libraries may focus on coordinating library programming with instruction sessions with University Mission - each library and librarian will have to decide what would be most effective.
The next series of posts will provide additional information on the sessions and takeaways from the conference.