Although it officially has a publication date of September 2012, our book on Personalising Library Services is now available in printed and electronic form from your regular suppliers.

In some ways it seems like no time at all since Libby and I embarked on this journey, but in others it seems like we’ve been exploring this approach for many years. The good news as far as we are concerned is that the mindset is just as relevant now as it was when we first started talking about it on the Judge Business School roof garden. In fact, in this age of swingeing cuts and higher expectations it may just be even more relevant today.

The book examines all aspects of running an effective library service, but focuses particualrly on our interaction with our users and strategies for successful engagement.

We hope that you find it a useful read.

best wishes,

Andy & Libby


We have now received a ‘Coming Soon flye’r from Ashgate Publishing which gives full details of the book, including an abstract and chapter and case study titles and authors. It will be published in August 2012 in printed and electronic form.

Personalising Library Services – Promotional Flyer from Ashgate

Libby and I are very pleased to have got this far along the road and are grateful to everyone who contributed.

thank you!

Andy Priestner

Our book ‘Personalised Library Services in Higher Education: the boutique approach’ will be published by Ashgate this summer (2012).
We have sought to make the book practical and, hopefully, challenging (not to read, but with a view to making a change!)
Contents are as follows:


1. Introducing the boutique approach – Andy Priestner and Elizabeth Tilley

2. Face-to-face value: personalised communication strategies – Andy Priestner

3. Library space and designing for a boutique library service in the USA – Beatrice Pulliam

4. Library technologies for boutique services – Tim Wales

5. Maximising value, enhancing learning: boutique teaching and training – Chris Powis

6. Digital literacy support for researchers: the personalised approach – Jane Secker

7. Marketing personalised services – Emma Thompson

8. The cost-effective service: is personalised possible? – Elizabeth Tilley

9. Evaluating the impact of the boutique library – David Streatfield

10. Implementing and managing boutique – Andy Priestner and Elizabeth Tilley

Case Studies:

a) Students as Consultants: SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management  – Helen Edwards

b) Research postcards at London School of Economics – Michelle Blake and Nicola Wright

c) Boutique at the Faculty of Education – Angela Cutts

d) Personal space for study: meeting real needs – Elizabeth Tilley

e) A voice in the wilderness: personalised library services in a virtual environment – Margaret Westbury

f) Integrating information skills into the curriculum: the next step – Veronica Lawrence

g) Online outreach and tailored training: the English Faculty Library at Oxford University – Kerry Webb

h) Boutique influences on structures and lifelong learning at Australian Catholic University – Tatum McPherson-Crowie

A model is a simple representation of reality – it is just a model, and won’t necessarily fit with all that we do. However we can, and should, shape our library services with a strategy in mind – and why not the Boutique model? During the last half hour of the Symposium Day, we had the opportunity to reflect upon, and evaluate the model that we had spent the day discussing and hearing about.

Delegates were encouraged through use of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to consider the relevance and potential application of the Boutique Library Model.

Considering the day had been fast-paced with a number of presentations, delegates rose to the challenge and provided us with much food for thought. There was only a short time at the end to comment on a few of the issues that the groups raised from the SWOT analysis. With a little bit of editing all the responses have been pulled together in one document which you can download and continue your reflections if you are interested:

SWOT analysis

Comments very welcome

Thanks again to all who came to the event on Tuesday 22nd March.  Presentations have now been uploaded to the Symposium page and we now have created a separate page for guest blog posts.

We look forward to receiving your case studies, suggestions of relevant articles and any other feedback you would like to send us.

We now have a draft version of the symposium programme to share with you. As you will see, it promises to be a lively mix of presentations, workshops and case studies. Bar a few changes to session titles, this programme is near complete:

Programme for Personalised Library Services in HE symposium (PDF)

This is just to alert visitors to this blog that booking for the symposium on Personalised Libraries in Higher Education is now closed as the event is full.

If you missed out on booking but  would like to discuss submitting a case study for our forthcoming book, our contact details are here.

Do check back here after the symposium for presentations and other content from the symposium.

Just a quick heads up to say that all of our speaker slots are now taken. We’re very pleased with how the day is shaping up and will be sending a finalised programme to delegates later this month. Thank you!

The symposium is based around a 2010 article by Andy and Libby:

Priestner, A. & Tilley, E., 2010. Boutique libraries at your service. Library & Information Update, 9(6), 36-39.

Customer Service

Di Domenico, G., 2006. Il servizio bibliotecario personalizzato nella rilevazione della qualità percepita dagli utenti. (Italian). Biblioteche Oggi, 24(5), pp.41-47.

Kreuter, M.W. & Skinner, C.S., 2000. Tailoring: what’s in a name? Health Education Research, 15(1), pp.1 -4.

Lieber, C., 2007. Be a Guest: A French Look on American Libraries. Library Administration & Management, 21(4), pp.178-180.

Massis, B.E., 2010. Librarians as providers of “legendary” customer service. New Library World, 111(9/10), pp.434-438.

Paterson, Neil, 2011. An investigation into customer service policies and practices within the Scottish college library sector: A comparison between the customer service exemplars from the retail sector with current Scottish college library practice. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 43, pp.14-21


Cronin, K.  & O’Brien, T., 2009. Practical low-cost marketing measures. New Library World, 110(11/12), p.550.

Dev, C., 2008. The corporate brand: Help or hindrance? HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, 86(2), p.49+.

Germano, M.A., 2010. Narrative-based library marketing: Selling your library’s value during tough economic times. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 23(1), pp.5-17.

Malone, E., 2009. Personal Services:  how information services can support the university’s marketing strategy through Web 2.0 and beyond. Available at: [Accessed February 7, 2011].

Embedded Librarianship

Ariew, S.A., 2010. 20 Tips on Networking (or Outreach) and Collaboration. Available at: [Accessed February 7, 2011].

Berdish, L. & Seeman, C., 2010. A Reference-Intensive Embedded Librarian Program: Kresge Business Administration Library’s Program to Support Action-Based Learning at the Ross School of Business. Public Services Quarterly, 6(2/3), pp.208-224.

Chesnut, M.T., Wesley, T.L. & Zai, R., 2010. Adding an Extra Helping of Service When You Already Have a Full Plate: Building an Embedded Librarian Program. Public Services Quarterly, 6(2/3), pp.122-129.

Freiburger, G. & Kramer, S., 2009. Embedded librarians: one library’s model for decentralized service. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 97(2), pp.139-142.

Heider, K.L., 2010. Ten Tips for Implementing a Successful Embedded Librarian Program. Public Services Quarterly, 6(2/3), pp.110-121.

Jacobs, W.N., 2010. Embedded Librarianship is a Winning Proposition. Education Libraries, 33(2), pp.3-10.

Koenig, Melissa H. The Embedded Librarian: Best Practices for Teaching Research Online. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. Hawaii. Jan. 2009.
Available at:

Konieczny, A., 2010. Experiences as an Embedded Librarian in Online Courses. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 29(1), p.47.

Matthew, V. & Schroeder, A., 2006. The Embedded Librarian Program. Educause Quarterly, 29(4). Available from: [Accessed April 11, 2011].

Olivares, O., 2010. The Sufficiently Embedded Librarian: Defining and Establishing Productive Librarian-Faculty Partnerships in Academic Libraries. Public Services Quarterly, 6(2/3), pp.140-149.

Putnam, J. et al., 2011. Conquering evidence-based practice using an embedded librarian and online search tool. The Journal of Nursing Education, 50(1), p.60.

Shumaker, D., A Wide Range of Approaches. Information Outlook, 14(1), p.10.

Shumaker, D. & Talley, M., Models of Embedded Librarianship: A Research Summary. Information Outlook, 14(1), p.26.

Siess, J., 2010. Embedded Librarianship. Searcher, 18(1), pp.38-45.

Tumbleson, B.E. & Burke, J.J., 2010. When Life Hands You Lemons: Overcoming Obstacles to Expand Services in an Embedded Librarian Program. Journal of Library Administration, 50(7/8), pp.972-988.

Leadership and Management

Cawthorne, J.E., 2010. Leading from the Middle of the Organization: An Examination of Shared Leadership in Academic Libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(2), pp.151-157.

Kreitz, P.A., 2008. Best Practices for Managing Organizational Diversity. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(2), pp.101-120.

Research support

Meyer, E., Forbes, C. & Bowers, J., 2010. The Research Center: creating an environment for interactive research consultations. Reference Services Review, 38(1), pp.57-70.

Web Services

Cohen, S. et al., 2000. MyLibrary: personalized electronic services in the Cornell University Library.

Jensen, L.A., 2010. Extend Instruction Outside the Classroom: Take Advantage of Your Learning Management System. Computers in Libraries, 30(6), pp.76-78.

Murray, R., 2003. Information portals: casting a new light on learning for universities. Campus-Wide Information Systems, pp.146-151.

Sodt, J.M. & Summey, T.P., 2009. Beyond the Library’s Walls: Using Library 2.0 Tools to Reach Out to All Users. Journal of Library Administration, 49(1/2), pp.97-109.

Working with Students

Meier, C. et al., 2011. Integrating Inquiry: Student Centered Approaches for Inspiring Lifelong Learning. Available at: [Accessed February 11, 2011].

Senior, H. et al., 2009. Three Times a Study: Business Students and the Library. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 14(3), pp.202-229.

Bejune, M. & Kinkus, J., 2006. Creating a composite of user behavior to inform decisions about new and existing library services. Reference Services Review, 34(2), pp.185-192.


Hegarty, N. et al., 2004. On the cat-walk: WIT libraries learning support model. Library Management, 25(6/7), pp.293-299.

Tinerella, V.P. & Dick, M.A., 2005. Academic reference service for the visually impaired. College & Research Libraries News, 66(1), pp.29-32.

You may also be interested in the following website:

The Jerome Project:

Other suggestions?

This bibliography will grow, so please let us know of any other articles you feel relate to the theme of this symposium and check back regularly!

Over at my personal blog, entitled Libreaction, I have just published a post which should help put our forthcoming symposium and the boutique libraries article in context. You can read the post here.

Very pleased to report that we have almost 50 attendees now.