It’s very easy to fixate on troublesome or demanding customers, but one positive thing from being on the desks this week has been hearing people say thank you.
Libraries are not just about books. A very large part of what we do is signpost people to other services or sources of information when they’re looking for help. We’re currently involved in a pilot scheme to give staff more tools to answer local authority information questions and it has helped their confidence so much. Here are three interactions I’ve witnessed or been part of this week:
From a lady who had just been helped with a bus pass renewal for herself and her husband and then a follow-on query about Covid 4th Booster rules and advice: “The young lady here has been very helpful and saved us a lot of time trying to ring round to find all this out, she’s been very good.”
From a gentleman who had enquiries about bins and recycling rotas in his area: “Oh thank you, I just can’t make sense of any of it, just get confused – you’ve explained that so well.”
From a gentleman who was in with his family, asking about local schools admissions: “Thank you, we wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for all this. You’ve saved us so much time.”
I think it’s important to acknowledge the good along with the challenging.