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In the library and information fields, we spend countless hours focusing on making our world a more self-service environment. While many students and faculty much prefer to work independently and easily find resources on their own, we have placed our emphasis on creating a self-service environment that removes the “middle man” from the information equation. And with the move that many have made away from conventional reference desks and reference service, we can (at times) look more like self-check express lanes at the grocery stores than like the libraries that we used to be. And while our patrons most certainly enjoy accessing resources in an unmediated fashion, there are many instances (especially with more difficult research projects) where they do need assistance with finding print and electronic resources. This presentation takes a brief look at how we have used the methods from the hospitality industry at the Kresge Business Administration Library (University of Michigan) to ensure that we are not only meeting the information needs of our patrons, but also being available to assist them when it is needed. In this presentation, we will discuss the role of public service in the library and how the lessons on the hospitality industry can improve our interaction with the patrons. We hope that attendees will be able to take away some tangible hospitality methods that have worked, as well as those that did not work. In focusing on hospitality, it allows us to think in a whole new fashion for the services that we provide.
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