As my cohorts (Rob, Laura, etc.) and I have been stating for years, customers are the key to successful library service. Since the early 90's I've been actively seeking out the ideas and feedback of library users and non-users and acting upon their suggestions -- always resulting in better libraries!
Over the past 10 years I've also been actively working to show library users (and non-users) the possibilities for their libraries through attention grabbing, informative, and often humorous presentations that grab their attention as well as educate them about what 21st century libraries can be. The mission of librarians needs to be to not only listen to their customers, but to show them the possibilities so they can react, provide feedback, and help create the vision for libraries today and in the future.
It's nice to see that others such as Steve Matthews are also supporting understanding the 21st Century customer. See his 1/26/11 posting "Customer is the Purpose" in his 21 Century Library blog. He states, "The absolute total purpose and focus of the 21st Century Library Model is the customer. Customer centered library services that meet the information needs of the 21st Century customer will result in any library remaining relevant to its community."