The ‘Starbucks effect’ and the changing role of our libraries


“Thirty years ago people primarily came in and checked books out and left,” she said. “Now we have a whole lot of people coming in who want a comfy chair and a place to do their reading.” Patrons today, she said, look at the physical library more like a “third place” outside of home or office, where they can do work, ask for assistance, use wi-fi or computers: “It’s the Starbucks effect.”


It's a business model that should be paid attention to. They are incredibly successful after all.

Tons of businesses have successful business models. Not all of them should be applied to libraries. There is a seafood warehouse near me that is extremely successful. Maybe we should model libraries after them?

If it keeps your library open, providing services to the local community at a decent level or giving people things they didn't know they needed rather than having to close them down to lack of national/local funding then you should embrace anything that keeps you going.
If you think libraries are not businesses then you have a huge amount more faith in future increased public funding than I do.

Actually the conveyor from a sushi restaurant would be a great idea to have in libraries. Books and cd's running around the building showing you what is new and fresh and just helping yourselves.
Much better than a boring new releases shelf ;)

... If the business model works for your library, who cares where it comes from. Librarians and especially directors MUST be open to new ideas, new approaches, open innovation and whatever it takes to capture relevance to their community.

I am the one that made the hypo about the fish warehouse being used as a model. Have to give you a +1 for the sushi conveyor idea. I could see a library doing that (with books, etc...) and it really being eye catching.

Add new comment


  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote> <img> <b> <marquee> <strike> <del> <p> <iframe>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Subscribe to Comments for "The ‘Starbucks effect’ and the changing role of our libraries"