Profiling Library Users

Cleveland.com
has a Story that caught my eye. The
Lakewood Public Library in Ohio, has begun using a
customer profile system to revamp its selection and
rearrange its books. They say that it keeps books
relevant in an Internet age.

With the rise of the
Internet, we need to keep the book alive,\" said Ken
Warren, executive director of the Lakewood Public
Library. \"We’ve started marketing nonfiction.\"

It\'s
good to see librarians being so aggressive.High school students seem less likely to leaf through
encyclopedias and other reference books when they
can get the same information on the World Wide Web,
Warren said. Library staff said they saw the writing on
the wall when nonfiction use in the main library
dropped by 30,000 books last year, to the
second-lowest total in a decade.


Warren spent $58 on the report from Claritas, a
marketing firm that plugs census information,
marketing reports and other data into a formula. The
result is consumer profiles of 62 groups with details on
everything from age and political affiliation to whether
they’re likely to subscribe to Gourmet magazine and
shop at Home Depot.


In Claritas-ese, Lakewood includes members of the
\"Bohemian Mix,\" \"Urban Achievers,\" \"Single City Blues,\"
\"Blue Blood Estates\" and \"American Dreams,\" among
others. The report describes an ethnically diverse,
health-conscious populace that favors gay rights, plays
the lottery and digs \"funky cafes\" and organic foods.

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