One of the tasks I have to achieve for our Asset Management Plan is defining our user groups and detailing their varying needs. With the help of my district team I made a list and started refining it; children, youth, retired people, housebound, shift workers, people with disabilities, people with a mental illness, LGBTQIA community, and so on.
Once we started looking at their varying needs I began to wonder if some categories need to exist. For instance, people with a mental illness or from the LGBTQIA community need access to resources, empathetic service from kind staff, free internet, and a warm safe space to spend time.
How does that differ from anyone else; isn’t the point of my libraries exactly that – to provide access to resources, empathetic service from kind staff, free internet, and a warm safe space to spend time?
Yet part of me feels that if I don’t define them as a user group we might somehow not provide what they need, that their needs will slip under the radar. So I’m dwelling on it. Any thoughts would be much appreciated, and I’m happy to be told if I’m wrong…