On a + note

Live in the moment and focus on the speaker… #52: 2011

Posted in on a + note by Admin on February 7, 2011

When I was at library school (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), a management professor asked if anyone knew the name of the person who cleans the SLIS library. I can remember wondering why I would ever know janitor’s name. I knew him to see him; he was short, balding, and had a thing about gum-chewing library students like me. Apparently, we were the root of all evil. So why should I remember his name? The professor’s reply was short and direct. “In library land, you will meet many, many people. Each and every one is important. They deserve your undivided attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.”
Skip ahead thirty years. I now understand what Sam was saying and offer you two examples about which to ponder.
A great friend of mine has the most amazing way with people. Everyone in her small Saskatchewan town knows her and can call on her for help, advice, or a cup of tea. Why is she so popular? There are many reasons, but the one I admire most is her uncanny ability to make you feel like the most important person on the face of the earth. In a hectic world, she gives her undivided attention, and we all respond!
I spent many years in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, home of the 13th Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1895-1979). One of the reasons John was so loved was because he never forgot a name. He knew you, who your dad was, and who your cousin married. John Diefenbaker never forgot a name, and that fact made him beloved by the folks in Saskatchewan.
In library land, we all get busy, rush down the hall, roar into a meeting, or simply delete all of those irritating emails. However, by simply taking that split second to recognize someone or press reply, you impart feelings of confidence and worth and complete the circle of communication. The simple courtesy of living in the moment and giving people the respect of your undivided attention is vastly underrated. In doing so, we learn much and model the respect we all deserve.
Thanks Myrna and John for reminding us to live in the moment and give our undivided attention to the folks we serve.

Kitty Pope
kpope@library.guelph.on.ca #52 February/11

2 Responses to 'Live in the moment and focus on the speaker… #52: 2011'

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  1. Bill Manson said,

    Sam Neill. I almost said Sam Rothstein, but SLIS nailed it

  2. Jacqueline Gray said,

    I must say, you certainly live by your words. When I visited the main library in late January and happened upon you working with the e-book display, we had the most marvelous chat. You were very welcoming, gracious, and approachable and I left feeling very excited about the changes that I both saw and heard about.

    I love and appreciate that the library has become a more welcoming place with cosy spots that encourage staying for a spell.

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