Learning from Corporate America

How many usernames and passwords do you think the average person has? Microsoft studied the habits of 500,000+ users over a three-month period. The study found:

The average user has 6.5 passwords shared across 3.9 different sites. Each user has about 25 accounts that require passwords, and types of average of 8 passwords per day.

That sounds about right for me. Although I have to admit I’ve never actually counted them all. Now that I use ewallet remembering user names and passwords is not a problem. Occasionally I run across a site where I created the account before using ewallet. Then I have to try out a plethora of user names and passwords.

Earlier this week I was unable to log in to Bank of America’s site. I thought about calling, but I hate navigating through phone trees (plus there is the fact that I do not sound like my husband–whose account I was trying to log in to–but we won’t go there). I was just about to give up until the following window popped up on my screen:

Bank of America Chat Window

My first thought was, “How cool, I don’t have to talk to a person!” Yep, I am officially a geek. My second thought was, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we offered a service like this to patrons using our catalog.” After so many attempts to find an item a window would automatically pop up and offer to let the patron chat with a librarian.

I can’t tell you how many reasons people will give for not asking for help in the library. They don’t want to bother anyone. They’re not sure who to ask. They’re embarrassed to ask the question.

This is how we need to reach out to people. People should not be forced to look for help whether it be face-to-face or online. Help needs to come before it’s needed. By the time people actively seek help it’s really too late. For every person who asks for help there are many more who just give up and leave empty-handed.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. […] way of pushing things forward came via Lori Reed’s  (from Charlotte Mecklenburg County, the originators of the Learning 2.0 model from which The 10 […]

  2. […] Learning from Corporate America: Lori Reed discusses a new way to connect with library users-and how she got the idea. […]

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