For the Front Liners (and everyone else)

 It’s often a hurdle to get library administrators and managers to listen to your concerns and views. But there are ways. And we believe this advice holds true for everyone on the desk, from reference librarians to support staff…..

….Tap into reports. Some 30 percent of folks polled for OCLC’s 2005 report Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources didn’t know what “electronic databases” were, and over 80 percent were starting their own information searches at a search engine. Pew’s December 2007 Information Searches That Solve Problems tells us that younger people really do use the library.

Use this as a foundation for change—maybe it is time to disband the ten-person reference department for new workflows and job duties.

Request an online suggestion box. These mechanisms have done wonders for some libraries. Front-liners can share their stories and ask questions; management should respond with answers and actions.

We’re reminded of the rules posted for the Library Loft teen space at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC: “Respect yourself, respect others, respect the space.”

Read the whole column here