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


  1. Well done, Julia! As I always say: "You can lead from any position!" When people come into a library, they have not just an informational, recreational or cultural need, but a social need. So, we can never be to busy to spend quality time with patrons. I am sometimes late for meetings, because I had spent time with a patron, when I noticed someone needing help, as I am walking through the Libray.
    "He tangata, hetangata, he tangata!"
    Well done, Julia and "unknown" Librarian :)

  2. Thanks Philip. Libraries are the place to be!