Fellow academic librarian blogger Jill Stover, of Thinking Outside The Book, shares some of her thoughts about the ongoing “simplicity vs. complexity” thread in a post titled “K.I.S.S“. After reviewing the business world’s current infatuation with simplicity as the new competitive advantage, she asks:
“But is simplicity what librarianship is all about? Is our job to present the complex world of information searching as something so simple a baby can do it? And, is doing so ultimately a good marketing strategy? I don’t think so. In fact, marketing in this way could harm the profession. After all, if we strive to make our services appear Google-esque, we could be obfuscating a big chunk of our competitive advantage.”
Stover invests time and energy exploring the world of marketing to share ideas and methods that make sense for librarians. She makes a good point that our organizations and resources are sometimes, by their very nature, complex, as are the information needs of our users at times, and that effectively marketing ourselves and our resources requires addressing the complex as well as the simple – and resisting the urge to always K.I.S.S. for fear of alienating users. Don’t be surprised to find they may even thrive on some complexity.