Manage This: Policy!

Great post at “Manage This” about library policy:

Barbara Kelly shares some thoughts about Starbucks and libraries:

So what am I saying here with these little Starbucks’ vignettes (other than wow, am I ever a demanding customer)? Well these situations bring to mind that:

Policy guides us in what we do to serve the community, such as how hot the coffee should be and what to do with well meaning donations of National Geographic

Policy guides our decisions when we are faced with situations such as using the wrong coffee bag or extending internet time

Policy serves our mission statements and guides us in treating community members so that we smile when serving the extra-low-fat-no-foam-tall-latte-with-hazelnut to the guy with the kids rearranging the displays or when serving the patron with fines and a complicated ILL whose kids are rearranging the displays

Policy is good, but it needs an override – an override with common sense, courtesy, humour, and sometimes a wink. When policy gets in the way of providing reasonable service, it is no longer serving its function and must be put aside.

Good coffee and good library services; the things that really matter in life.

A wonderful post to share with my classes and with TTW readers because it so eloquently describes how policy should be used in libraries. Thanks Barbara!