functional catalogs: they're for everybody

The other day I overhead a conversation taking place between a regular patron (really nice guy) and one of the NPPL’s circ clerks (also a nice guy). This gentleman, probably in his mid-70s, needed to keep track of a certain book on CD. He reported that he signed into his library account looking for a way to mark the item as a favorite. I had a huge smile in my heart and probably on my face as soon as I heard him say this. People have expectations when they’re using what I call the “normal web.” They want to customize, voice their opinion, be featured, share and interact, among other things. Library websites aren’t particularly normal and I imagine they frequently don’t meet people’s expectations.

I got to talk to the patron about the situation with library catalogs. He seemed to be genuinely interested or perhaps he is just a good actor. We ended up putting a note in his patron record. He can’t access it, but he can call the library, tell someone we were keeping track of something in his record, and we can look it up. Certainly it isn’t an ideal solution but one that should suffice.

Please, please remember that there are all kinds of people that can benefit from our websites and catalogs behaving normally.

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