New Netherlands library benchmarks successful retail customer experiences to reinvent public book lending.

Ten years ago, facing competition from other information sources and dwindling interest, the main library in Almere realized something drastic need to be done to reestablish the branch as an information destination and community hub. They started by surveying their existing members and discovered that some interesting ‘customer profiles’ emerged. Preferring to think of library patrons as customers rather than members, Marga Kleinenberg and her colleagues at the library took a look at how retail stores appeal to their customers. The shops provided inspiration for ways to organize the new library into zones, new ideas for displaying books to make them more browsing friendly, and the creation of displays targeted towards  their frequent visitors.

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