People Want to Feel Special

Image from svale on Flickr

Image from svale on Flickr

In a previous post I talked about creating a great experience for patrons. But how do we go about doing that? In addition to getting them great information, how do we make them want to keep coming back to the library for an experience they can’t get other places?

Thinking back on good experiences I’ve had lately, I’ve noticed a common thread: I was made to feel special.

Last week I was sitting at a bar watching the Twins.  The bartender remembered me from another night (when I was watching the Vikings), and he asked me if I wanted my usual. The fact that he remembered me made the experience stand out. It made it special. Sure it made my order slightly quicker, but  I was no longer just another customer. I was a real person who he remembered interacting with and wanted to help. It’s like walking into Cheers and everybody knowing your name.

Another good experience happened last Saturday morning. I went out to breakfast with a friend to Penny Cluse Cafe because others had highly recommended it. I waited for an hour to be seated (something I have never done for breakfast), and it was completely worth it.

When we were seated we felt special (it was OUR turn). After ordering, there were three different people who warmed up our coffee, smiling and bantering while doing so. In fact, everyone in the place was smiling. They had created an atmosphere that was completely positive and welcoming. The food was simple but very delicious. Much better than many breakfast places I’ve been.

It was a solid product (the actual food) combined with making the customer feel special (in this instance happy because of the positive environment) that made for a perfect dining experience.

How can we replicate this for libraries? How do we make our patrons feel good, smart, happy, special, etcetera? How do we make people wait in line for our services and tell all their friends about us?

Andy Burkhardt


  1. It is really good subject to talk about on it. I had shared one essay of you and we had talked about in the class, after that i follow your blog. You refer important problem and intersting things for library, librarians and technocolics:) By the way i’m writting this from Hacettepe University in Turkey.
    Take it easy. You have a follower from Turkey too 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comment Serdinç! I’m glad you found the post useful. I hope you’re enjoying your studies. What sort of class was this for?

  3. I am Information Managemenet student in Hacettepe University. This is for “English for Information Professionals Lesson”. We give presentation about “future library”, “library in our imagine”, “where and what kind of library we want to work?” like this. For exampleI have presented “OverDrive Digital Library” last week 🙂

  4. That seems like a pretty fun presentation. It’s always fun trying to imagine what the future of the library will look like.

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