Cluetrain & Public Service

From the Rambling Librarian:

We should go out there and engage potential users in the forums, chatrooms etc. As I wrote in my other blog:”… the presence that librarians project can no longer be the “Thou knoweth more than you-eth” attitude. To connect with our average information-customer, we need to show them that we’re as human as they are; as fallible, and there’s nothing to be fear from us.”

In providing our service, be it answering reference enquiries or Readers’ Advisory, or checking a reader’s loan record, PLS librarians can distinguish themselves by engaging in conversations with the reader. In a real conversation, we don’t go “Dear Mr Lee, with regards to your enquiry…” but we say things like “Hi Mr Lee, that’s a most interesting question. It’s something new to me but I’ve checked with my colleagues and…”. Our tone (written or verbal) should be informal, approachable, human.

Heck yeah! The “voice” of the library should be human. It should resonate with emotion, interest and sincerity — on the web, via IM, on the phone and in person.