Showcase: The Anatomy Of Libraries

My Mum lives in Gisborne. She doesn’t use the library and won’t write a letter to the editor about the library user-charges in Gisborne because she doesn’t know what she’d say. I asked Mum why she doesn’t use the library: “I don’t need to.” I asked Mum what would encourage her to use the library: “If…

Great Customer Service Requires Committed Library Staff

“The customer comes first” is a common adage that espouses the principle of providing a product or service that the customer values, of being customer-focussed. The customer must come first, because they ultimately determine how long you stay in business – they pay the bills, including your wages. But in order to be customer-focussed and…

Forget Strategy, Worry About Execution

Developing strategic plans is a common endeavour in many libraries, and one that some libraries struggle to make meaningful. According to Wikipedia, strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organisation’s future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: What do we do? For whom do we do it?…

Homai te pakipaki

“Homai te pakipaki” literally translates from Maori as “give the clap”. It is a phrase frequently used by the host to encourage the audience to show their appreciation for a guest speaker by giving them a round of applause. I stumbled upon three recent blog posts that in my opinion deserve a round of applause. They each provide an insight into how treating…

The Currency of Appreciation

A recent article (pdf) in New Zealand Management magazine advocates the benefits of showing appreciation in engaging and motivating employees. In not-for-profit organisations run by volunteer members, showing appreciation seems like common sense. Unfortunately in the case of an acquaintance of mine, common sense was not that common. Earlier this year my acquaintance* was appointed in a voluntary specialist role to assist the…