Why Do We Do It?

This is the second post on The Atlas of New Librarianship webinar held on 20 September 2012. In the first post I wrote about the need to distinguish libraries from librarians. Anyone who knows me well will know that I ask a lot of questions about everything. I ask questions because I want to understand….

Test Your Assumptions

Library projects often focus a lot on risks as this is often what stakeholders are most concerned about. But it is also good to test assumptions. How do risks differ from assumptions? Risks are the likelihood that something will or will not happen. They are measured by their probability (what is the likelihood that this…

What Does Success Look Like?

Last week I read a post by Australian Information Professional Alisa Howlett about how her definition of success has changed over time and sometimes the path is not as well defined as it used to be. Alisa’s post got me thinking about success in another way – from a project perspective. A successful project solves a problem…

What Business Are Libraries In?

If you had to describe what libraries do in 8 words or less (because this fits on a business card, is a nice sound bite, can be remembered and repeated, and can be used in advertising etc) what would you say? Why is this question so difficult to answer? Why are we not able to…

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…

Who Are Your Top 10 Borrowers?

Growing your library isn’t just a worthy goal; it is a necessity for your survival. But growth requires focus – a focus on your number one market. A business doesn’t grow by treating all customers equally and neither should libraries. Now, before you respond with: “but we’re part of council and we must serve all…

3 Things To Add To Your Library’s “Stop Doing” List

Times are crazy. The recession may have caused libraries to be more fiscally responsible but it’s also increased the number of customers coming through the door. Trying to do more with less is a sign of the times and it isn’t going to go away in a hurry. To help you accomplish more with less,…

What I Learnt Yesterday About The Customer’s Experience

Yesterday I had three customer experiences that offer some practical lessons for libraries. Customer Experience #1 I called my telecomms provider to see if I could get a better deal on my account. After going through the automated options I learnt that I would be in a queue for seven minutes before reaching a service…

Is Customer Service Dead?

Last weekend my laptop screen gave out.  I decided to check out a couple of retail stores to see what was on offer before making a decision on getting it repaired. At the first store we went to the salesperson schmoozed over and proceeded to tell us the specs of the laptop we were currently looking at…