Gale’s SVP Paul Gazzolo Wants to Unlock the Publisher’s Information Vault
What types of digital products are you planning to work on in the next couple of years?
There are two areas that I'm particularly interested in. The first is the Gale Virtual Reference Library. It is really the building block for a lot of different things; how to enable a library, instructor, or student to access what's inside of a Gale database so that it can be consumed, shared, or taught from is an area of great interest for us. Beyond that I can't tell you what we plan to build because we're not at that stage yet. But we do have teams that are spending a great deal of time with instructors, librarians, and students to see how we can unlock the value of the content there and bring it to the student rather than expect the student or instructor to find it.
Libraries are working to provide more digital products to patrons. How has that effected how Gale works with libraries?
I think it's a subject that is near and dear to our hearts here at Gale. We want to make the public library an essential part of the community. We view that goal as quite broad and ambitious so a few years ago we did a deep study of customer segmentation, not just of librarians, but also of the patrons that frequent the library. We developed over 50 personae.
For example, "Here is Joe. Joe is a plumber. Joe will need Chilton's Manuals, which is a Gale product." We have student personae, small business owners, we have a retiree, someone with a physical handicap that might require large print text, etc. These personae weren't built around, "This is the person who might buy a Gale product," they were built in a thoughtful way to help libraries think about patrons and design collection services and their delivery model against that. It was a very interesting project. It raised the level of discussion with librarians above the product level to who are the patrons that you need to serve better.