Tuesday, 29 January 2013

It's the small things that count

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes good library service, great. Is it lots of staff? An excellent collection? The latest technology? A modern building?

To me, great library service happens when staff are committed to providing the very best service they can while working with the resources they have. This might mean spending a bit longer than usual with a non-english speaking patron, giving a mini tutorial on ereaders with an older patron or just trying your best to make a patron feel comfortable and respected in the library.

I saw an example of this yesterday. One of our staff members saw that the line for the APNK internet computers was getting rather crowded with a lot of school children. She ( sneakily) took them over to our comfy sitting area and got them started with a game of Guess Who. Problem solved! She could have growled or given them the 'librarian glare' but instead they became happily engaged in a board game. 

I think it is actions like these that give a library a great atmosphere and sense of vibrancy.  While its great to think about the big picture and not sweat the small stuff, its also important to me to put 100% effort into each enquiry every  time I'm on the desk. People appreciate stand out service. Just the other day, an elderly lady took the time to express her thanks for my help and friendliness while helping her with some technical difficulties- stand out service is noticed, even if patrons may not voice it out loud. The warm fuzzies are great though!

What are your thoughts on what makes great library service happen?


Twitter @JuliadeRuiter

Monday, 14 January 2013

Book Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

This is a stunning and moving debut by new author Hannah Harrington- I devoured this in two sittings.

Saving June follows sixteen year old Harper Scott whose perfect and adored older sister June has committed suicide. This ( obviously) has shocked Harper and her unstable family, who thought June had everything going for her. Harper meets one of June's acquaintances, Jake, at her funeral. On impulse they, along with Harpers best friend Laney, decide to take a road trip to California ( where June hoped to attend university) to scatter her ashes. Without their parents knowledge, the trio embark on a trip that will change all of them. The road trip becomes a way for Harper to work through her grief and all the questions she has regarding June's death.

This book deals with a lot of things-religion, music, imperfect families, and death. The prose perfectly captures the feelings of teenage angst and rebellion. Old school music like the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix features heavily in the book with a list of soundtracks from the book being included in the back ( one of my favourite aspects of the book). Jake, in particular, uses music as a way of expressing his emotions. If you look deep into the characters, you see that their hidden emotions are reflected in the music they choose to play on the road trip. The book also lends itself to the mysterious side, leaving you with a couple of unanswered questions.

This book really cut straight to the heart of a gritty circumstance which I appreciate. Harrington has crafted this book with skill and I can't wait to read her next novel.


Thursday, 3 January 2013


Happy New Year everyone!
I'm so excited for 2013- I have a good feeling :)

To welcome in the new year I thought I'd share some of the goals I've made for myself at work this year. ( I left out the ones that only apply to our library). I think a sense of direction is what I need this year, so the list is stuck prominently on the wall right next to my computer.

1:Stay positive
2: Be flexible
3: Work hard on my final two papers for study
4: Get on top of my time management skills/become an organisation queen!
5: Be creative and authentic
6: Apply for the LIANZA 2013 conference scholarship
7: Finish Diploma and Certificate!
8: Publish one blog post a week
9: Read more of what I love

What are your goals/resolutions for the year ahead? You can comment here on the blog or tweet me @JuliadeRuiter

Bring on 2013!!