It's not about ME - - it's about YOU

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Presentation to Durham County Library staff on their staff day, May 10, 2007

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  • Begin by querying the staff: Length of time at Durham County Library: 1 year or less, 1-5 years, 5-10 years, 10- 20 years, more than 20 years. How do you feel about the changes that are happening with Durham County Library? : ecstatically happy, relatively interested and hopeful, mildly skeptical, sinking feeling in your stomach, you’re searching the classified ads? (you can raise your hand multiple times) Explanation of the talk title: Anyone ever been in a relationship that has ended? In the attempt to make the “breakee” feel better, the “breaker” that’s “It’s not you – it’s me”. However, instead of ending a relationship, Durham County Library is about to begin a new relationship with it’s community where “It’s not about ME (individual Library employees/more of the same without questioning why, etc.) – it’s about YOU (anyone/everyone who has an opinion on the future of Durham County Library).
  • It's not about ME - - it's about YOU

    1. 1. “ It’s not about ME -- it’s about YOU” Durham County Library Staff Day 2007 Theresa E. Cummings Manager, Libraries IT Department Wake County Libraries [email_address]
    2. 2. So who am I? <ul><li>Manager of Libraries IT Department at Wake County Public Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In current position since January 2000. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrived full of energy and naiveté. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly realized the department was growing, and growing and growing… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am living proof that you can become a different librarian than you dreamed you’d be in Library School. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. The way we were… <ul><li>In January 2000: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our system had 17 branches, with approximately 250 PCs being used by library staff and our public. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The majority of “technology” in our library branches was dumb terminals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A majority of our “electronic resources” were in CD-ROM format – requiring customers to visit a library branch to use. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our annual book circulation was between 5-6 million. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our customer base was approximately 600,000 citizens. The number of library card holders was approximately 225,000. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Growing and growing… <ul><li>In January 2007: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We reopened our North Regional Library, capping off four major library constructions/renovations in one year, bringing the total number of branches to 19 – and the number of PCs supported to nearly 1,200. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology is found in many forms throughout the library – WiFi, public Internet access, electronic management of PC usage and public printing, and more! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All of our “electronic resources” are online, and thanks to NC LIVE, are numerous in breadth and depth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our annual book circulation will surpass 8.5 million. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our customer base is approximately 786,000 citizens. The number of library card holders is over 374,000. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. WCPL Culture <ul><li>Build libraries where people live and give them access to everything they’ll need from their local library </li></ul><ul><li>A popular collection is what our customers want </li></ul><ul><li>Requesting books should be easy and unrestricted </li></ul><ul><li>Services to children is our #1 priority </li></ul><ul><li>Give employees the information they need to make free, informed decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Less rules, more guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers – our clean little secret </li></ul><ul><li>Self service makes sense </li></ul>
    6. 6. How do we encourage this culture? <ul><li>Facilitative Leadership model </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service model </li></ul><ul><li>The Power of Nice </li></ul>
    7. 7. Facilitative Leadership Model <ul><li>Created by Roger Schwarz ( www.schwarzassociates.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Skilled Facilitator Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Ground Rules for Effective Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core values of: Valid information, free and informed choice, internal commitment, and compassion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All library employees are exposed to these ground rules, and we use them in all meetings and committees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s hard work requiring constant practice! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Customer Service Model <ul><li>Superior customer service is a mindset, not an activity… </li></ul><ul><li>We hold regular Customer Service Workshops for all library employees, covering areas including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding Library Lingo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer service via phone or email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serving external AND internal customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlighting the differences in perceptions and motivations based upon personality types. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with challenging customers – use the L.A.S.T. formula: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>L isten to the customer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A cknowledge the customer’s concern </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S olve the concern (if possible) and sympathize </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>T hank the customer </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. A Culture of Nice <ul><li>We minimize punitive responses </li></ul><ul><li>We empower each employee to break the “rules” when necessary to meet a customer’s needs and ensure a positive experience </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not necessary (or possible) to treat everyone the same. Strive to treat each customer as they wish to be treated. This requires good communication skills to find out hidden meanings… </li></ul><ul><li>Customers don’t care what you know, until they know that you care </li></ul>
    10. 10. IT Culture @ WCPL <ul><li>We are Library employees who happen to be in the IT Department. </li></ul><ul><li>YES is the answer </li></ul><ul><li>“ There’s no I in IT”, err, well, you know what I mean… </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships make it happen </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of all opportunities to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Be proactive in making sure your customers are happy </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your mouth OPEN </li></ul>
    11. 11. Our Challenges for the Future <ul><li>Continuing to keep up with the demand for library services in Wake County (bond referendums, capital building projects) </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing to attract and retain the best library employees who love their jobs and are committed to providing excellent customer service. </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly evaluating our services by asking the question: “Is this what our customers want?” </li></ul><ul><li>Increase the visibility of Libraries as the #1 asset of Wake County. </li></ul><ul><li>Not resting on our laurels, thinking we have it all figured out. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Top 10 ideas to help you make the leap:
    13. 13. #10 Talk to the right people, oh and listen too.
    14. 14. #9 Take the blinders off – and throw them away
    15. 15. #8 Don’t think you have to build it yourself
    16. 16. #7 Throw “perfection” out the window
    17. 17. #6 – Keep telling yourself: “This is my job”
    18. 18. #5 – Whine with purpose
    19. 19. #4 – Find new ways to do your job
    20. 20. #3 – Never underestimate willingness to engage in meaningful work
    21. 21. #2 – READ, READ, READ
    22. 22. #1 – Remember it’s ALWAYS about the customer
    23. 23. Leaping People and Ideas <ul><li>Helene Blowers ( librarybytes.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>David Lee King ( davidleeking.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Patricia Martin – ( LitLamp.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Google Alerts ( google.com/alerts ), Google Reader ( google.com/reader ) </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia ( www.wikipedia.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitative Leadership Model – Roger Schwarz and Associates ( schwarzassociates.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die – Chip and Dan Heath ( madetostick.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Delivering knock your socks off service – Kristen Anderson </li></ul>
    24. 24. GO DURHAM, GO! <ul><li>This entire slide presentation can be viewed and commented on in my blog: </li></ul><ul><li>leapinlibrarian.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>You can email me at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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