Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Next Generation Library Director: Responsive

Fantastic Post about the role of a library director:

Sites and Soundbytes: Library Directors and Customers - What's Our Role?: "
* Directors should work the service desks at their libraries.
Do you know the feel and service your patrons are receiving? (I am posting this from our library's reference desk while the staff has a department meeting, so this is one I personally do whenever I get the chance.) I find that I get a real sense of our patrons, their needs and how the library inter-relates when I do even a short stint at desk.
* Directors should have blogs, newsletters and other ways to talk directly to their patrons. Even more so, the patrons should have the ability to talk directly to the director and be heard. This can happen on the fly in the library itself, with listening sessions, or online.
* Directors should write thank you notes themselves for donations. That personal touch goes a long way.
* Directors should not be dictators. We should listen, listen, listen and trust our staffs. I learn more from my staff and their knowledge of the community and libraries than anywhere else.
* Directors should be willing to take risks. Allow changes to happen. Lead the way to new services. Be brave! What else would you love to see your administrator doing? What do you do as an administrator to better serve your patrons?"

Let's see how many I do:
I work the circulation and reference desk. I need to do a better job in doing it regularly. This is how our staff will be able to have time for training. This allows me to see what the library staff see. This also helps me problem solve along with staff. I can better understand the problem if I can see it first hand. It make me more reactive and proactive for helping getting patrons a better experience and helping staff do the same.

I have a customer care card at the front desk. I respond to each card personally either over the phone, through a letter, or in person if I can. I like that I am able to recognize a person by name on the card, then catch them in person and talk to them. It is always better to respond to everything in person, in your own signature, your own voice, or face-to-face.

I write all the thank you letters for donations. It isn't specific since we can't name a price or list every book. However, it is personally written and signed by me.

I let staff do everything. It is easier for me :) Staff wanted more training, one of the librarians had a plan and ran with it. This is leading to our first full fledge training and will lead to learning 2.0. It is better to listen to staff and implement. I have successfully received three grants that I have written based on staff suggestions.

I sometimes take longer to get to a certain place. I know when the timing is right. We set up a time/print management system for our public access computers a year ago. Everyone wanted an additional station and to print wirelessly. It has been a demand for a year. I knew how to implement it, and I knew where to get the money from. It just took time. Lo and behold after a year, we are setting it up. Change takes time. I just let people know change is coming, hopefully, implementation soon follows.

1 comment:

Tasha said...

Thanks for responding to my post! What a treat to find a new library administrator blog. I'll be adding you to my RSS feeds!