One public library card to rule them all …

CarOn a recent long drive down the North Island, and part of the South Island, of New Zealand, I realised how vast the country is, and how many different communities there are along the way. I regularly saw signs “Welcome to [region] – [catch phrase]”. I passed through numerous different regions, and I wondered what would happen if some of them combined to provide stronger services to their stakeholders.

It’s made my choice for the first topic of exploration easier – a single public library card for all New Zealanders.

Imagine if we all only ever had to sign up once to the public library.

A centralised database held customer’s contact information, so, regardless of where you lived, and which physical public library you used, you could use the same card forever, anywhere in New Zealand.

New Zealand is a small country, less than 5 million. Surely this would cut costs, free up people resources, and increase flexibility of customer’s library use.

Imagine the statistics we could collect on library usage, real data about where, why & how people access public libraries.

Imagine where we could focus our energies if we didn’t have to keep separate databases for customers.

Imagine the freedom it would give our customers.

Where would the possibilities lead us?

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