Archived Event

How to Understand your Library Users - The Better Futures of their Communities and Institutions

Date : Sep 04, 2007
Start Time : 11 a.m. Eastern
Length : 00:01:00

Listen Now ?|? Podcast
View Now
Supplemental Material

Do you care about the relevance of your library to the changing worlds of the people who use it? If so,?the mission of your strategic plan should not be about building a better library, but rather about your library being a tool to build better futures for the individuals, communities and institutions you serve. The sum of those better futures should be your vision. It exists outside the walls and web sites of your library, in how people live their lives. What part of achieving those better futures will your library make its new job? And how will you become an expert at understanding them, particularly if the demographics (age, socioeconomic status, education, ethnicity) of your current and potential library users are different from those who work in or oversee your library?


  • How to identify and explore seven typical areas of concern for your library users
  • What typical mistakes to avoid while connecting with people in your community or institution
  • How to communicate better futures in images, sounds and stories, not just abstract platitudes
  • How to anticipate rather than react to critical community and institutional issues

Pat Wagner ?Co-Owner, Pattern Research, Inc.

Pat Wagner and her husband Leif Smith own Pattern Research, Inc., a 32-year-old research and training business in Denver. Pat has been working with libraries as a trainer and consultant since 1978, focusing on personnel, management, leadership, marketing, career and strategic planning issues.

Currently, Pat is a presenter for several library training organizations, including Infopeople (California), NELINET (New England) and the University of North Texas (web-based continuing education). She is a LAMA/ALA Regional Institute trainer and conducts CE programs for the Medical Library Association. Pat?is a frequent presenter at state and national library conferences, including ALA, MLA, and SLA. She also has contributed articles to state and national library publications, most recently:?Conflict Management for Libraries: Strategies for a Positive, Productive?Workplace,?ALA Editions, 2005;?Connecting With Campus & Community: Real-Life Marketing & Promotion?Strategies for College Libraries. Haworth Press, 2006;?Library Marketing Services, March-April 2006: Designing Promotional Materials That Are Legible

From small rural one-person libraries to large urban systems, from Alaska to Florida and across the spectrum of library types, Pat works with diverse institutions, issues and individuals. She is known for down-to-earth, practical and entertaining programs that focus on current and future library issues. She works with her clients to design programs that meet the needs of each customer and provides personalized service. In 2006 alone, she worked with library and library organizations in 25 states and Canada.

In addition to her work with libraries, she also consults with library boards, foundations, Friends groups, and national, state and regional library organizations, as well as universities, schools, nonprofits, local government and professional organizations.?