"open source web 2.0 personal social platform, something like igoogle and pageflakes. It allows you to mix both your personal, social and corporate content all into a single portal."
Wild thoughts & speculation
The other major task that users want to achieve is to check their loan record for due dates and fines, but traditionally this isn't very well integrated with the library portal as the LMS (Library Management System) is typically a separate system and in most library portals, checking your loan record involves pushing you to some other page away from the library portal.
As a result, my guess is most users will not bother to spend a lot of time customizing because in their mind there is no need to do so. By the time, they bother to login , they are already eager to jump off their library page to some ejournal site. They have finished their task and are ready to leave.
Force all users to login the moment they hit the library site? There are a lot of issues with this idea, for example how do you handle non-members? Would that push users even faster into the arms of Google, since putting a login box is known to discourage usage? (That's the reasoning behind allowing users to use Summon without login first according to a sales rep at a recent Summon demo I attended)
You could of course encourage users to login.
I suspect simply allowing users to add quick links to favourite databases probably isn't enough, since they can already go directly to these places via bookmarks etc. It's also unclear if the idea of a creating a one-stop shop research dashboard with RSS feeds of Tocs of journals, will appeal to more than a small minority of users (even for such tech savvy users, they might prefer viewing it in Google reader etc).
For the majority of users, perhaps populating part of the portal with loan record information and urgent news (your loans are overdue!), past searches of the catalogue will appear, with new entries since you last logged in etc might be more useful.
Even that might not be enough. Most library webpages feature the search box when prominently and for good reason. The typical user will want to search and their eyes will be drawn to that box and will probably not look at the login button.
It's interesting to note that for some library sites, the login button isn't even visible on the front page probably because the design doesn't require or encourage users to login unless they need to.
The other wild idea I have is taking a leaf out of Facebook, logging onto to the library portal, allows you to see which of your other friends are online to and to chat with them if possible, similar to Facebook chat!
Imagine an undergraduate logins to library portal and spots that his classmate is online too and given he is logged on to the library portal he is probably working on his assignment too and they can chat! This increases the amount of stickiness of the site.
But the library alone (or maybe even a university wide network) probably doesn't have enough weight to start what essentially amounts to a competing social network. But what about implementing something like Facebook Connect?
Thus far, I know of only one library that does this via a Facebook library app, so that one can pull library loan information into the facebook app. This does what the other examples in this blog post in reverse of course, the idea is that users don't even visit the library page, but can do all the library related services in a facebook app.