Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Say Yes!

Before I became a librarian, I made a living as a photographer. I'll never forget something I heard at a wedding photography workshop conducted by Denis Reggie, who photographed the wedding of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among other celebrities. "Do whatever they ask," he said, "within reason." He reminded us that we are there for the bride and groom and cautioned us against becoming locked into our routines. If they want some casual shots a week ahead of the wedding; if they want it shot in black and white, just say yes and do it. It doesn't matter that you haven't done it that way before. It's what they want!

I've tried to use this advice in the library. I love saying yes to our patrons.

"My card is from another library. Can I use it here?" Yes!

"Can I return this book to any library?" Yes!

"Do you have a wireless network?" Yes!

Now for the reasonable part. I try to be accomodating but I won't do a job search. I won't type a resume or approve a business plan. I won't print out weekly Nascar results on my home computer and bring them in for someone. I won't let someone check out a reference book. I won't let patrons install software on our computers. These are all things I've been asked to do.

Along with our new ILS, Polaris, we bought 3 new self-checkout units. They're easier to use than our previous units and can do much more. As I was helping some patrons with them, I found myself saying "yes" again and again.

"Can it show me what I have checked out?" Yes!

"Can I see what I have on hold?" Yes!

"Can I check out even if I have an overdue book?" Yes!

"Can I search the catalog with it?"


Post a Comment

<< Home