One of the surprises of the Internet was the discovery by thousands of libraries across the country that the hottest information commodity was ... what was going on in our own back yards.
Think about it. You won't use your local library as a portal to Google. You just go to Google.
Certainly, many of the people who use library terminals do go on to search a host of World Wide Web search engines and big databases.
For the past several years, I've been reprinting what I've come to think of as "my Christmas column" -- a tradition. I hope you enjoy it.
What we really need is an all-purpose gift that will satisfy everybody. It should be suitable for all ages. It should require no assembly. It shouldn't need batteries. You shouldn't have to feed it. It should last forever. It should be constantly entertaining. The more the recipient uses it, the more he or she should like it.
And of course, it should be free.
Let me tell you the story of the DVD gang.
A family -- a man, a woman, a child, and another man -showed up at one
of our branch libraries. They presented Denver identification. Under our
Colorado Library Card program, that was enough to get them all library
cards with us.
They then proceeded to check out about 20 DVD's apiece.
A couple of days later, they showed up at another of our branches. Using
their new cards, they repeated the performance.
On November 6, 2002, the Douglas Public Library District conducted two "non-user" focus groups. These were for people who did not have library cards; nor did anyone else in their households.
One focus group consisted of adult men and women from around the county. The second group consisted of young adults.