Customer Service in Libraries: Best Practices (Best Practices in Library Services)

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9780810887480: Customer Service in Libraries: Best Practices (Best Practices in Library Services)

In this book, nine librarians from across the country describe their libraries’ best practices in this key area. Their contributions range from all-encompassing customer service policies and models any library can both adapt and be proud of to micro-approaches that emphasize offering excellent user-focused technology planning, picture book arrangement with patrons in mind, Web 2.0 tools to connect users with the library, establishing good service delivery chains, and making your library fantastic for homeschoolers.

As past Public Library Association President Audra Caplan writes in her introduction to this book, “There is nothing magical about providing excellent customer service; it just takes the right people, the right philosophy and the passion to make it a reality.” If you’ve got all that, here are the best practices to make stellar customer service a reality for your library’s users.

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About the Author:

Charles Harmon is an Executive Editor for the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. His background includes work in special, public, and school libraries.

Michael Messina is a reference librarian at the State University of New York’s Maritime College. He has also worked as a researcher at The Brooklyn Academy of Music Archives. The former publisher of Applause Theatre & Cinema Books/Limelight Editions, he is a coeditor of Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays (Northwestern University Press).

From Booklist:

Ask any librarian what makes a library different from a bookstore, and some will likely respond with “Computers!” or “Programs!” The contributors to this volume would ultimately argue that “Customer service!” should be the top of the list. Although the availability of computers and free programs might draw in library users initially, it is the customer service they encounter that will bring them back. This work offers food for thought on diverse topics, such as recognizing the benefit of reorganizing collections, using technology to improve customer service, reaching out to homeschooling families, and creating and establishing new customer-service initiatives. Nine case studies are presented, and most of them end with notes or a list of resources, allowing users to delve further into the topic. Through these proven best practices, this book will help librarians revitalize customer-service policies at their own libraries and inspire them to do more. --Stephanie Charlefour

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