Module 1


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Module 1 is designed to get library to think about how they can make their library a customer friendly environment. Topics incude approachability, working with children, barriers to positive patron experience, pressure situations, difficult patrons, and professionalism.

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Module 1

  1. 1. Module 1<br />Working with the Public<br />and<br />Public Service<br />
  2. 2. What is Public Service?<br />Community service, a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions<br />Employment within a government system (especially in the civil service)<br />A public librarian’s sense of public service can best be understood by reviewing to documents:<br />The Freedom to Read Statement<br />The Library Bill of Rights<br />Adapted from WordNet – Princeton University,<br />
  3. 3. Patrons are often reluctant to ask questions. <br />Your job is to encourage questions by:<br /><ul><li> Creating a Welcoming Environment
  4. 4. Be Approachable</li></ul>So what can I do to be more approachable?<br />The next slides will give tips on approachability in the following areas:<br />Verbal behaviors<br />Non-Verbal behaviors<br />Acknowledgement <br />Listening and Communicating<br />Approachability<br />
  5. 5. 1. Verbal Smiling<br />Welcome patrons as they enter the library. <br />A voice that projects a smile and patience on the telephone and in person.<br />Be genuine… relax!<br />Let people know your name.<br />
  6. 6. 2. Non-Verbal<br />Use natural eye contact (but be aware of cultural sensitivities)<br />Be at patron&apos;s eye level if you can… especially with children<br />Keep a relaxed, open body posture with shoulders open to the patron<br />Smile!<br />Lean forward slightly if sitting when talking with a patron. <br />Let the transaction proceed at a comfortable pace. <br />Lower consistently distracting or unpleasant noise levels in the stacks without squelching the youth’s enthusiasm.<br />
  7. 7. 3. Acknowledgement<br />Always acknowledge and serve the patron promptly. <br /><ul><li> Never ignore a customer even when you are on </li></ul> the phone or helping another customer. <br /><ul><li> Give children same acknowledgement as adults.
  8. 8. Use non-verbal cues to let the patron know you </li></ul> are aware they need you if necessary.<br /><ul><li> Let the patron know you will be with them soon!</li></li></ul><li>4. Listening and Communicating<br />Good listening skills include:<br /><ul><li>Eye contact with patron and take notes if necessary.
  9. 9. Rephrase what you have heard to verify understanding.
  10. 10. Ask questions to understand what the customer wants.
  11. 11. Avoid multitasking – give your attention completely</li></li></ul><li>4. Listening and Communicating (cont.)<br />Communicate in a positive and courteous manner. <br /><ul><li>Avoid library jargon.
  12. 12. When using library terms, explain what they mean.
  13. 13. Think aloud or update patron with what you are doing to </li></ul> serve their request.<br /><ul><li>Leave customers with a positive, professional image. </li></ul>Let your pride in your work show! <br />
  14. 14. 4. Listening and Communication (cont.)<br />Provide accurate answers or referrals. <br /><ul><li> Make sure you have the question right.
  15. 15. Make sure your answers are accurate.
  16. 16. Provide the answer, or the person who can answer.
  17. 17. Call ahead rather than making blind referrals and </li></ul> misdirecting a customer. Provide referral point with <br /> the information to make them successful. “Busy” is <br /> an excuse and not an acceptable explanation.<br />
  18. 18. Communication and Physical Barriers<br />Positive patron experience in the library starts with predicting the communication barriers, including the physical barriers that impact communication, and managing them accordingly.<br />
  19. 19. Communication Barriers<br />The patron&apos;s discomfort with libraries <br />Our expectations of the patrons<br />Language differences<br />Cultural differences <br />Educational differences<br />Physical barriers in library<br />Emotional state of the patron (pressure, frustration, grief, etc.)<br />
  20. 20. Physical Barriers<br />Desks or shelves to high or low<br />Displays blocking sight lines<br />Building arrangement<br />Signage (out of date, out of view, unclear, nonexistent)<br />Location of reference desk<br />General clutter on workspaces, shelves, or floors<br />Crowds<br />Limited number of service points<br />
  21. 21. What to do about barriers:<br />Desks or shelves to high or low<br /><ul><li>Walk patron to shelves
  22. 22. Get out from behind desk or down on their eye level
  23. 23. Use the ADA compliant desks or workspaces</li></ul>Patron cannot see or understand signage<br /><ul><li>Often patrons lack familiarity or skills to use signage, walk and explain the navigational tools as you use them, especially when working with children.</li></ul>Educate Patron on Building Arrangement<br /><ul><li>Give a brief description of the hows and whys to arrangement as you walk patron to desired location or as you give directions.</li></ul>Free yourself from crowds<br /><ul><li>Get out from behind desk if crowds make it difficult for patrons to get to the desk or if users are concentrated far from desk.</li></ul>Eliminate clutter at desk and service points!<br />
  24. 24. What to do about barriers cont.<br />Sometimes different cultures can create a barrier to communication.<br />Show concern for the patrons of different cultures by letting them know you are trying to help. Methods for communicating with patrons from other cultures or those who speak another language include the following: <br />Speak in brief, simple sentences.<br />Avoid library jargon as well as idioms and metaphors.<br />If you don&apos;t understand, ask short questions. <br />Don&apos;t ask &quot;either/or&quot; questions; pose two questions instead. <br />Avoid negative questions ex: &quot;Don&apos;t you like science-fiction?&quot; <br />Speak distinctly and unhurried. <br />
  25. 25. Have patron write down information and provide written response. <br />Use different words or phrases. Try to find a common vocabulary.. <br />Use a dictionary or other translation tools.<br />Follow through if you feel the patron is not clear and make sure they were successful.<br /><ul><li>Your attitude is very important. Always show respect.
  26. 26. Allow time for the patron to translate mentally. Keep smiling.
  27. 27. Allow time for patrons to accomplish what they came for, even when you are busy. They judge our services by their level of success.</li></li></ul><li>More information about the city’s population:<br />American FactFinder website<br />What cultures do you need to learn about?<br />
  28. 28. Tricky Situations<br />Remember that service to patrons is your primary responsibility. <br />Apply professional ethics. More on this in the module on the reference interview.<br />WHAT TO DO ABOUT?<br />Too many people, not enough time<br />Juggling phones, emails, and a line of patrons<br />Patrons who are frustrated or difficult to please<br />
  29. 29. Too Many People, Not Enough Time <br />You can only serve one person at a time effectively.<br />Always fully serve the person in front of you. <br />Tips:<br />Ask if anyone has a very quick question (i.e. location of bathroom) that can be answered quickly after you completed helping a patron.<br />Acknowledge the people waiting and let them know you will get to them as soon as you can. <br />Use the “doorbell” to alert staff in back they are needed at the desk.<br />Don’t rush or look hurried by the crowds. Patrons will feel relaxed if you are relaxed. <br />
  30. 30. Too Many People, Not Enough Time<br />Options to Offer Patrons Who Require More Time:<br /><ul><li> Invite patron to return at another time.
  31. 31. Offer to take down their information needs and communicate the findings by </li></ul>phone or email.<br /><ul><li> Show patron the information seeking tools you would use to find the requested </li></ul> information and how they can access those tools. <br /><ul><li> Select materials and make available on hold shelf for them to collect at their </li></ul>convience.<br /><ul><li> I can do any combination of the above, or is your situation one that you would </li></ul> rather I see if one of the other reference desks can devote the time this request <br /> deserves?<br />
  32. 32. 2. Juggling Phones, Patrons, and Email<br />Our library gives preference to the in-person user since they have taken the trouble to come to the library. <br />Staff should be consistent in the approach to this problem. <br />Collect the caller’s information and needs and when you can call back with the findings.<br />Give caller option to hold until a librarian is available.<br />Press the “doorbell” to alert staff in back they are needed at the desk.<br />Could this call be routed a desk better able to satisfy the request?<br />Take a moment to answer phones, even if engaged with a patron, as ringing phones are disruptive to you, the patron you are helping, and those visiting the library.<br />
  33. 33. 3. From Mildly Frustrated to Patrons In Crisis<br /> Maintain a positive attitude.<br /> Listen to the patron’s need or concern<br /> Try to understand the customer’s viewpoint<br />Tell them what you can do, not what you can’t<br />Provide alternatives<br />
  34. 34. Top Ten Crisis Prevention Tips<br />The following tips for Crisis Prevention were adapted by Yale University Libraries<br />Remain calm and be empathetic <br />2. Clarify messages<br />3. Respect personal space<br />Be aware of body position. <br />5. Permit verbal venting where possible. <br />Set and enforce reasonable limits. <br />Avoid overreacting<br />Avoid using any physical techniques unless personal safety is at risk<br />Ignore challenging questions or debate bait<br /> Get help and alert others<br />
  35. 35. Why the Freedom to Read Statement matters<br />It explains why the public library should guard against censorship and is a cornerstone document in a librarian’s professional ethics as a public servant.<br />Read and know the fundamentals of this statement. <br />The Freedom to Read Statement<br />
  36. 36. Why the Library Bill of Rights Matters<br />This document outlines the rights of patron’s to intellectual freedom and the responsibilities of libraries to support those rights.<br />This is the second cornerstone of a public librarian’s professional ethics as a public servant.<br />Read and know the fundamentals of this document.<br />Library Bill of Rights<br />
  37. 37. In Summary<br />Libraries and librarians are meant to serve the public to the best of their abilities<br />Put yourself in the patron’s shoes – do not use library jargon and try different communication styles until you find one that works<br />Educate yourself on your communities cultures<br />Know the ethics governing our profession<br />Always use positive communication<br />Be confident and trust your judgment.<br />