This popped up in my Twitter feed today, and the title alone made me pause. In fact, I didn’t really have to read the rest of the post (which was good) because the title itself gave me something to chew on–“Netflix and Libraries: You Are What ‘Your Users’ Think You Are, Not What You Think You Are.”

The author goes on to point out the difference in making decisions based on what your users think/want and what libraries/librarians think and want and uses as an example the recent exodus of Netflix customers after a “bad decision” by the company that she surmises was based upon what would work best for them as opposed to what made the most sense to their users. She was speaking in fairly narrow terms with regard to e-resources and other very specific library decisions; however, I can see this theory being applied to libraries very broadly.

Libraries and librarians can go on and on about what “we are” and what value “we think” we have, but how much does it really matter what we think? We need to be actively engaged in finding out what users, and more importantly, non-users think we are or what we should or could be.

The possibilities may surprise us.