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Us and them? Shaping a customer service culture in libraries

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Presentation by Maxine Melling, Director of Learning and Information Services, Liverpool John Moores University

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Us and them? Shaping a customer service culture in libraries

  1. 1. Us and Them: shaping a customer service culture in libraries Maxine Melling, Director of Learning and Information Services, Liverpool John Moores University
  2. 2. Case Study Working Together Project, Vancouver  Public Libraries – “a community development approach to putting library skills at the service of the community by working with them to link library services to community understanding of its needs” http://www.librariesincommunities.ca/ 
  3. 3. How do we demonstrate our values? 5. STAFF 1. MESSAGES Who deliver Reflect 2. RULES 4. EVALUATION AND MEASUREMENT Which come from And imposed by 3. STRATEGY & POLICY Informed by
  4. 4. Messages
  5. 5. Language In the trenches: military images  Crime and punishment: the delinquent borrower  OPACs, authentication and class. numbers  Incompetence v. Presumed intelligence 
  6. 6. Space Accessibility  Self evident and customer-owned  Interactive not controlling  Way-finding rather than dependent on staff help  Consolidated help desk – roving/on-call staff  help The role of security barriers 
  7. 7. RULES AND REGULATIONS
  8. 8. Strategy & policy “library & information managers need to ensure that their  policies and strategies reflect a culture of real customer service. The key to achieving this is to build customer perspectives into your planning process”  A McDonald, Vancouver Public Library “Customer service is as much about purpose and culture as it is  about services and delivery. We need strategic management that brings together corporate values, planning and organisational responsibilities”  Sheila Corral, Sheffield University
  9. 9. Identification of needs, VPL Traditional model Community-based model Data Meet people where they are Statistics most comfortable User surveys Connect-consult Comments cards Collaborate Demographic trends Build relationships based on trust and respect
  10. 10. Service planning, VPL Traditional model Community-based model Senior staff develop service Library and community act proposals to address as partners in planning identified priorities Community involved in Staff are consulted stock/services selection Reference to Work collaboratively to literature/conferences etc. develop policy recommendations
  11. 11. Evaluation & measurement Discussions  Narrative based – allow people to use their own  language Perceptions based (e.g. LibQual)  Qualitative –what else?  Focus groups etc.  Non-use  Segmentation 
  12. 12. Staff Critical thinking & self-  awareness Humility  Contextual listening  Empathy  “we’re going to try to help staff understand that when we say we use our values to inform our work we’re talking about the library’s values” Diana Guinn, Supervisor VPL
  13. 13. “Barriers are pervasive…sometimes they are the result of institutional goals at…management level, while at other times they emerge from the personal beliefs of staff at the public service level”. Randy Gatley, Community Development Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

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