At the outset, TPLFans was billed as a pop-up blog. It would last as long as it needed to.
Aaand this is more or less it. I am just a bit tired of feeling as though I have to act like a journalist every time I go to the library. Plus librarians are watching my every move and trying to pepper me with gossip. I already feel enough like a decadent intellectual parasite.
I still plan on reporting from library reopenings for a while, but it’s time to monetize this thing. How terribly crass? Surely every public-library supporter should take a perpetual vow of poverty in order to meet the moral standard of somebody with a steady job?
This thing cost nothing so far (except actually it did), so why should it bring in anything? Well, because. I says to a librarian, I says “Why the hell am I not working for the library?” “Good question.”
Who’s a bigger fan? Listen, companies hire the hackers who break into their systems. Companies hire their worst enemies. I’m the library’s biggest fan. And for the love of God, don’t try the line that I’m way too sarcastic to work for a public institution. I’ve done it before, and besides, have you ever talked to a librarian? I’m a pussycat.
What I have in mind is a program of online and in-person outreach. More exactly, meta-outreach: Training all 99 branches on online and in-person outreach. Or training the trainers. The Web site is about to be relaunched and every branch is getting wifi. We’ve got to stop hiding inside the gated community of “the Facebook.”
There’s a plan here, though I’m sparing you the details. It has nothing to do with usability testing or anything like that. And it’s a time-limited thing – three months tops.
Don’t sit there panicking about it. A cup of coffee would be a good place to start. Then we’d have to deal with how to hire an outsider in a city climate where every consultant is viewed, ante facto, as an AIG-calibre fraudster. The smaller the contract, the worse the scrutiny. What I’m saying is you have a full catalogue of excuses at your disposal.
But if you can’t hire your fans, especially fans with actual legitimate qualifications, then who are you gonna hire? Deskilled staff?
See you at the Thorncliffe reopening.