I use the Traverse Area District Library a lot when I’m Up North. Yesterday was one such time where everything was so smooth, so perfect as a library experience, I need to write about it. I had to print some documents to overnight to Texas for my research project, so off I went to TADL. I must admit I was in a little time crunch because I needed to print and get to the post office before it closed.
A note: other than my IM chum Jeff, none of the folks there know I’m a librarian so I was in pure “patron mode.”
1. Thoughtful staff. I sat in the Reference Area for a bit with my PowerBook. A librarian came over and asked “Did you find the outlet?” motioning to a hidden outlet in the table top I had not noticed. “Feel free to plug in.”
2. Streamlined access to PCs and printers, no muss, no fuss. I was able sign my name on a sheet, plug in an ethernet cable at a nice desk facing a window and immediately begin printing.
3. Receipts for printouts, no worries. I printed 50 pages so a receipt is useful for my recordkeeping for school. The librarainas at the computing center were quick to give me a snazzy printed receipt (and two paperclips!).
4.Sunny skies. Well, no, TADL didn’t provide me with sunny skies but the television monitors in the AV area tuned into the Weather Channel offered a quick look at what to expect for my last weekend up here for a long while!
5. Great Spaces lead to Great Experience? Maybe it’s the beautiful building, the local artwork in the gallery space, or the Children’s Garden I passed through on the way to my car, but what could have been a series of hurdles to get my documents printed turned out to be a poerfect library experience. “Thanks” said the staffer at the circ desk as I left…”have a nice weekend.”
Take away: Visit another library sometime and make use of their services…see how the experience goes. Then: ponder how your own library creates experiences like the above. Is your staff going the extra mile for customer service?