Brandel Library to Receive Grant

CHICAGO, IL (December 21, 2007) - North Park University's Brandel Library participated with three suburban public libraries under the auspices of the Metropolitan Library System for an LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant, entitled "The Customer-Focused Library." The Illinois State Library administers the LSTA grants with funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The $100,000 grant will fund a study of library services and service attitudes from a retail perspective using the services of Envirosell, a leading research and consulting agency for the retail environment whose clients include Target, Office Max, and Heathrow Airport. The founder of Envirosell is Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy and Call of the Mall. Using observation and interviews of library visitors by on-site researchers, the consultants will write a case study to present short-, mid-, and long-term strategies for improving library systems and services to improve the visitor's experience using the library. The consultants spent sixteen hours in Brandel Library over two days in November unobtrusively studying how its space was being used and how the library might better accommodate its users.

In January 2008 Brandel Library will receive the initial Envirosell report, in April there will be official presentation by Envirosell, and in June there will be a panel presentation by the library directors of the participating libraries to describe how the consultants’ findings may or may not be used.