Mission (Almost) Impossible: Effective Circ Desk Management

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  • JEN AND TERRI
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  • The term “access services” first started appearing in the 1980s. In 1991, the Assoc for Research Libraries came with a SPEC Kit talking about “Access services,” which is basically an administrative term referring to circulation. “Access services” was broadly defined as “physical access to library collections.”In 2005, ARL did a follow-up study to track the “access services” trend since 1995, and surveyed 77 of the 123 ARL libraries.An overwhelming majority of those libraries had a specific department with the word “circulation” or “access” in the title.From 1995 to 2005, the number of departments called just “circulation” departments decreased, from 39% to 14% - what went along with the name change was an absorption of many various access-type areas under that umbrella – increase in responsibility for periodicals, microforms, information desk, interlibrary loan“Access services” is now more broadly defined as not only access to physical materials, but also delivery of materialsNew servicesOn-campus document delivery +100%Laptop circulation +200%E-reserves +269%Other services – users with disabilities, computer lab maintenance, copyright clearance, copy card sales, shipping & receivingConsolidation of service desksIncreased automationStaff-side – notices, billing, bindery, ILL, offsite storage requestsPatron-side – renewals, ILL requests, storage retrieval
  • JENEasiest job in the libraryNo skills are neededCan be done by volunteersWork is mechanical in natureNot “real” library work
  • JENOf course, these opinions are WRONG!However, patrons think that everyone is a librarianThe nearest desk should have what I need – NOW“many people are still coming to the library and asking questions of the first official-looking desk or person they see. As with any personal interaction, this first impression has a direct impact on how the user will perceive the library as a whole and is a critical factor in exploring quality of service issues.”
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  • JENCareer Development/SuccessComfort/Relaxation Health/Balance/EnergyInfluence/LeadershipLearning/Knowledge/DiscoveryMaterials/Possessions Recognition/PraiseSecurity/Money/HomeSocial/Affiliation/Popularity/AcceptanceStatus/Prestige/Stand Out/Reputation Task Accomplishment/Problem Solving/AchievementTeaching/Guiding OthersVitality/Energy
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  • JENI can motivate people – NO. you have to motivate yourself, and others have to motivate themselves. Set up environment5 core job dimensions are skill variety, the degree of task completion, task significance, autonomy, feedbackMoney is a good motivator. – NO. might prevent people from becoming less motivated, but doesn’t tend to increase motivation.Fear is a VERY good motivator. – Yes and no. It’s effective for a very short time. It might improve behavior temporarily, but the bad behavior will come right back after the shock of being yelled at or threatened has worn off. Plus resentment.What motivates me will also motivate my employees. NO – different people are motivated by different thingsIncreased job satisfaction means increased job performance. NOT NECESSARILY. – if employee goals are not aligned with organization goals, then employees are not being effective.Employee motivation is a very complicated science. NO – there are basic steps you can take to motivate your employees.
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  • Mission (Almost) Impossible: Effective Circ Desk Management

    1. 1. Mission (almost) Impossible Effective Management of Busy Circulation DepartmentsTerri Brown & Jen BartlettUniversity of Kentucky LibrariesKLA/KSMA Joint Conference, Louisville, KYOctober 2, 2009
    2. 2. What do we do in Circulation?Five core services: 1. Circulation (checking in and out) 2. Shelving 3. Stacks maintenance 4. Billing 5. Entry and exit control KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    3. 3. And more!Answering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    4. 4. And more! Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    5. 5. And more! Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    6. 6. And more! Building security Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    7. 7. And more! Building security Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    8. 8. And more! Building security Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    9. 9. And more! Building security Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems Print and electronic reserves KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    10. 10. Study carrel and locker checkoutsAnd more! Building security Verification of user credentialsAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems Print and electronic reserves KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    11. 11. Study carrel and locker checkoutsAnd more! Building security Verification of user credentials ILL/document deliveryAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems Print and electronic reserves KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    12. 12. Study carrel and locker checkoutsAnd more! Building security Verification of user credentials ILL/document deliveryAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Fielding maintenance and custodial requests Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems Print and electronic reserves KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    13. 13. Study carrel and locker checkoutsAnd more! Building security Off-site storage retrieval Verification of user credentials ILL/document deliveryAnswering reference questions during hourswhen the reference desk is closed Fielding maintenance and custodial requests Equipment (printers, copiers, phones) problems Print and electronic reserves KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    14. 14. And…Anything else needing to be done that doesn’tfall into another department. KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    15. 15. What’s in a Name?Sometimes we’re not called Circulationanymore, but are absorbed into a larger“Access Services” label, or: “Borrower Services” “Collection Services” “Resource Support Services” KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    16. 16. What Might Others Think? Easiest job in the library No skills needed Can be done by volunteers Work is mechanical in nature Not “real” library work KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    17. 17. What Might Others Think? Easiest job in the library No skills needed Can be done by volunteers Work is mechanical in nature Not “real” library work KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    18. 18. What Does Our Work Require?• Good organization• Detail oriented• People oriented• Confidentiality• Team players• Good management skills• Understanding of how the library system works• Familiarity with policy• Ability to think on your feet KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    19. 19. Finding the Balance J Demands Perceptions o b MOTIVATION KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    20. 20. Motivating Yourself Motivating the people you work with begins with self-motivation. What motivates you? • Recognition and status • Money • Influence • Helping people • Comfort and security KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    21. 21. Some Questions to Ponder… • Do I set goals and objectives for where I want to be in 5 or 10 or more years? • Do I use rewards to keep myself focused? • Am I managing my time as effectively as I can? • Do I depend on my boss to let me know I’ve done a good job? • Am I taking care of myself? KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    22. 22. Myths of Motivation • I can motivate people. • Money is a good motivator. • Fear is a VERY good motivator. • What motivates me will also motivate my employees. • Increased job satisfaction means increased job performance. • Employee motivation is a very complicated science. “Basics About Employee Motivation,” by Dr. Carter McNamara, http://managementhelp.org/guiding/motivate/basics.htm KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    23. 23. Motivating Staff & Students KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    24. 24. Your Mission, Should YouChoose to Accept It… 1. Think about three or four things that motivate you. 2. Think about how you can sustain these things when you return to the workplace. 3. Visit http://bluegrasscirc.wordpress.com and comment! Questions? KLA/KSMA Joint Conference - Oct. 2, 2009
    25. 25. This presentation will self-destruct in 5 seconds…Terri Brown, Circulation Administrative Assistantterri.brown@uky.eduJen Bartlett, Head of Circulationjen.bartlett@uky.eduUniversity of Kentucky Libraries

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