South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative:Trading Spaces: Welcome Message
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Welcome Message from SJRLC

SJRLC would like to welcome you to "Trading Spaces: Reinventing the Library Environment."  This project, a unique collaboration between the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, the New Jersey State Library and the Mount Laurel Library grew from the seed of a very simple idea: Space matters. Environment matters.

In merchandising the collection, library staff at all points on the change-oriented and traditional scale can thrive in a library where the collection and services star.  Customers can see the difference when they walk in the door and they love it!

Our customers have many choices on how they meet needs that have traditionally been filled by libraries.  The Internet and Google allow them to find information from the comfort of their homes or offices.  Borders and Barnes & Noble offer children's and adult programming in attractive locations that not only allow, but encourage, consumption of food and beverage.  Amazon and let them order inexpensive used books and CDs, delivered quickly, right to the doorstep.

Libraries are not alone in feeling the effects of this new reality.  Email and online bill payment have resulted in revenue declines for a Post Office that finds itself in crisis.  Add ATMs and direct deposit to the picture, and it's easy to see why bank branches are also struggling.

Creative solutions are also out there.  NPR's Morning Edition reported on a new Bank of America branch in Baltimore that was designed with open floor space - no offices.  All employees provide customer service on the floor.  There is a children's reading area, a large screen TV, and coffee and snacks for customers. (see transcript or listen to the audio)  The branch also serves as a community facility, offering home buying seminars and financial literacy programming.  One customer, who does online banking and direct deposit yet still visits the branch comments, "It's nice, it's open. You feel welcome when you come in here, people are greeting you."  Another customer, watching her little girl read a "Highlights" magazine says, "I like how they have the little books set out here... It makes me think family."  Customers choose to spend time at the branch, because when they do, they are assured a pleasant experience.  We like to think that the new Mount Laurel Library offers even more creative solutions.

Space matters.  Environment matters.  Service matters.  Collection matters. The customers of the Mount Laurel Library are already expressing their delight with the many changes brought about by the "Trading Spaces" project.  We hope that the experience of the Mount Laurel Library will serve as a catalyst for all New Jersey libraries, and that together we will think about the importance of environment and customer experience and take the necessary steps to ensure that we are destinations of choice and centers of our communities.

...return to Trading Spaces Resources Page

NOTE: Cooperative Services are now being managed by Infolink.  Please contact them with questions or requests for service.

It has been a sincere pleasure serving you!

If you need to contact us regarding SJRLC business after 8/27/10 please call 856-575-1390 or email Karen Hyman at
or Peter Bromberg at

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