The 10-Minute International Librarian #40: understand your users’ expectations

Librarianship is all about providing service.

Our institutions are there to help people find the information they need to make decisions, and to take part in economic, social, cultural and civic life.

As a result, we have a strong focus on working to identify and respond to user needs, both in terms of building collections and developing services and wider communities. User needs are of course also key when designing libraries in the first place.

But in addition to needs, it’s also worth thinking about what users expect of the library. This matters, because how libraries match up with users’ anticipations will affect overall experience.

So for our 40th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, understand your users’ expectations.

What do they want from the library in terms of type of service, and how it is delivered. What is it that they want to do in the library, and how can you make this simpler?

Don’t forget that these expectations can be affected by experiences of other services, both public and private. What makes these attractive or easy to use? Can you replicate ideas?

Let us know your about your experiences of responding to user expectations in the comments section below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 2.3 Develop standards, guidelines, and other materials that foster best professional practice.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments b