It's a library, not a prison!

Posted by jlubans on April 23, 2011

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I led my Customer Service workshop for 20 staff members of the University of Latvia Library on April 22nd. The title of this blog entry comes from the debrief of one of the activities, Bibliofoon. One of questions on the debrief worksheet was:
"3. If you bent some of the rules to satisfy the customer, are you OK with doing that? Would you do the same in your job? Would you permit your subordinates to do the same?"
My suggestion that bending the rules for the user was an ethical violation brought forth an indignant: "It's a library, not a prison!" Now, that's the kind of response I look for in every workshop, someone's taking a stand and saying it loud and clear.
The customer/reader set her goal as 15 books (balls) delivered to
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her in 8 minutes. The delivery team exceeded the customer's goal by delivering 17, even while introducing a new twist on what to do with the inevitable dropped books/balls: send them back to the warehouse via the conveyor belt. That meant delaying the books going to the user. Even with this extra load, they exceeded the customer's expectations!
And, the distance between the warehouse and the reader in this version was probably the longest I have set up along a U shaped course. Everyone was about saving the time of the user.
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