Librarians and Customer Care

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By , December 28, 2012 10:39 am

by Amy Eaton


I recently received a link to this article from March 2012.  In it, the author, Jeff Rundles, laments the lack of customer service in both businesses and government entities.  The one bright spot he found: libraries and librarians!  Of course, this comes as no surprise to those of us in the field. Our number one priority is to take care of our customers, whether they are attorneys, students or members of the general public. Why do librarians excel when other entities, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, fail? I think librarians are given a great amount of authority and freedom to assist our customers. My daughter had an internship at a large hotel chain one summer. She was working the front desk one day when a customer came to the desk with a complaint about their room. No one at the desk had the authority to offer the customer additional services or remove charges from their bill. The staff had to wait for manager approval. The customer left angry and frustrated and my daughter learned the importance of empowering your staff to handle problems as they arise. I know librarians who have had their children, attending universities in other states, pull and copy articles for rush requests. Many of us spend untold hours on the phone with customer reps for online services seeking to understand the vagaries of their databases in order to explain why we received the results we did.  I have used Google translate to try and submit requests through foreign websites written in languages I don’t understand. What is the greatest length you have gone to in order to provide top notch reference service?

Library of Congress: Holiday Cards

By , December 19, 2012 11:57 am

by Mary Whisner

myLOC, from the Library of Congress, lets you save folders of favorite images or documents from online exhibits. For example, I have saved to My collection an editorial cartoon by Herblock and a link to an entire exhibit on Brown v. Board of Education.

LC’s email postcards are fun (and educational!). I’ll use this blog post as an opportunity to send out holiday cards to all of LLOPS (and whoever else sees the blog). And I encourage you to poke around in myLOC yourselves: there are lots of cool exhibits, and you can send your friends great cards!

“Postcard” with a 1903 book jacket from The Call of the Wild.


“Postcard” with a poster from a Victor Herbert musical.


Bedbugs in your books

By , December 11, 2012 9:17 am

by Philippe Cloutier

I hate to freak you out but it has come to my attention that bedbugs are able to plant their seeds into library materials. Making matters worse is that full-grown bedbugs have been hanging out at the University of Washington and enjoying architecture titles. UW Libraries have taken the necessary steps to remove the infested materials: freezing, heating, sealing, advising circulation, and employing dog-sniffers. The extent to which this has affected Seattle Public Libraries remains unknown. SPL’s spokesperson simply “is not aware” of any bedbug related situations, safely she neither confirms nor denies. Bedbugs are not only a physical nuisance: biting, sucking your blood, and leaving rashes; but the mental disorders they manage to leave in their wake is something to behold. That said, the Kindle certainly looks more enticing than ever.

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