No, I’m not referring to the mushy and lovey dovey letters. It’s one of those tools deployed to obtain feedback from our library users. The feedback that can make you cringe or jump for joy. Yeap. It struck me that this could be a useful tool in gathering inputs from our users. Fast and cheap. I googled and got a few interesting sites :
- Elements of UX: A Librarian’s Guide to User Experience Design
- Love Letters to Libraries
- The Letter Project
- Design research method: The love letter and the breakup letter
- Cognitive Mapping and Love/Break-up letters at the BJL
- My breakup letter to my library
I also stumbled upon several library websites that utilize online survey forms (like SurveyMonkey) or developed their own in-house forms to elicit feedback from their users. Another popular method includes writing it down on a piece of paper. But whatever form they come in, there are several important questions that we need to address: what do we do with the feedback. Do we act upon them? Do we just throw it into the rubbish bin? Do we thank the user? Do we reward them? (esp for writing an honest break-up letter) Do we tabulate all the data and create a table and chart showing the most important area of concern?
At the end of the day, libraries are here to serve the community. We need to know what attracts them to our library (physically and virtually) – niche areas? Take a step back and look from their perspectives. We may be doing something that doesn’t add any value to them (users) but ignoring things right under our noses that they are clamoring for. After all, what are libraries without our users.