Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The library gets personal

North Carolina State University Libraries will soon allow patrons to sign up for a personalized service that will alert them to new titles and resources of interest, according to a New York Times article. The catch? In order to know what patrons would like based on past choices and preferences, the Libraries will collect and store personal information about their reading habits.

From a marketing standpoint, collecting and analyzing customer histories is a tried and true way to ensure that the right products are being targeted to the right people (for more info, take a look at what database marketing is all about). It's efficient, effective and logical considering the high costs of advertising and promotion and the fact that people are increasingly resistant to mass marketing appeals, but is it worth the privacy risk in the library setting? Your thoughts?

[Thanks to my colleague, Monique Prince, for passing this article my way.]

1 comment:

Dan Ream said...

This reminds me of Hennepin County, Minnesota Public Library's RSS service that lets you do any search in their online catalog and then click a button to create an RSS feed that recreates that search for you.
See http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/RSS.cfm

So if I do a "mass murder*" search there, it's on file and connectable to me, right?

Oddly enough the first match in such a search is for the book..
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