Yelp Listens, So Can Libraries

September 17, 2008

I started on Yelp for fun a few months ago. I would have posted several more reviews except there was no way to save a review so you could go back to it later. I emailed Yelp about it two months ago and their tech told me they would look into it. Well, looks like they have implemented that suggestion! Now you can save your posts and edit later.

I don’t know when they added this feature but it must have been pretty recent. Who knows if it was because of my suggestion or they already had it in the works (surely someone else must have thought of it before I ever mentioned it). Who cares. The point is they listen to their users. Something libraries are becoming more and more interested in.

Are we listening when our users ask for a cafe? Are we listening when our users ask for a drop-box? Are we listening when our users ask for several drop-off points around town? Are we listening when our users ask for longer circulation periods of media? Are we listening when users tell us that they avoid special collections because of the plethora of security hoops they must go through to view one item? Are we listening when our users tell us they don’t like the noise level in certain areas of the library? Are we listening when our users ask for SMS notification of due dates and holds?

We need to get past the initial reaction of “just because our patrons want it doesn’t mean we should do it” mentality. That was 20th century librarianship. Let’s try what they want and see if it grows. Let’s err on the side of listening.


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