We all computer gadget tech geeks sure miss Steve Jobs already, though his no saint and Apple are not the good guys either. If we take away the gloria both from Jobs and his Apple and look more for what they really have done and said and look at what we can learn. 1997 when Steve Jobs was back at Apple (check his biography at Wikipedia) he got the question on Opendoc, at he Apple developer conerence WWDC 97, and said road to succes is not Opendoc, Java is a better solution. Concluding that you have to focus rather than going in 18 different directions:”Focus is about saying, No”.
At same conference Jobs got a rather insulting question about why he distrust opendoc, followed by a sarcasm on what he have done the last 7 years. The answer from Jobs is great:”You got to start with customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you gonna sell it”. Followed by: “What incredible benefits can we give to customers. Where can we take the customer? Not sit down with the enginneers and look at what awsome technology we have and market that.”
So what should libraries say no to? Not going in 18 directions.
What should libraries give their customers? Not just market vendor technology to library patrons.
Well, why not just serve all students with pencils and pieces of paper in the reference desk, maintain the commercial link resolver in Google Scholar and have some awsome speed courses on how to use the OR-statement in Google. Staff reduction? No, we also need coffee breaks to cope with internal strategy meetings.