Breaking down the time barrier. #6: 2011
This is no news flash, but our customers are overwhelmed, overworked, and over-stressed. However, it is a reminder that the time barrier has made it more and more difficult for libraries to attract and engage new customers. One of the primary reasons that folks don’t use the library is simply a lack of time. “I don’t have time to access that software, walk the dog, paint the fence, or look for that book.”
So, it seems evident that our goal should be to “break down the time barrier” and make is quick and easy for folks to use the library. Shouting louder about the library and handing out more bookmarks are not the answers! Libraries need to develop new protocols to save our customers time. For example:
1. Make registration and check out quicker. Have all hands on deck when more that two people are lined up at a desk, and stop asking useless questions on the registration form!
2. If staff members can’t immediately assist a customer, they must at least recognize those waiting with a nod or an acknowledging “I’ll be right with you.”
3. Make the website intuitive and one click away.
4. Market the library as the “time-saving search engine.”
5. Push market library programs to our e-customers.
6. Embrace eBooks as the ultimate time saver. Why? It’s simple; there are no parking problems and no pesky overdue fines!
7. Offer roving reference. Instead of sitting at the desk, staff members with iPads are on the floor helping customers. Answer reference and readers’ advisory questions, download e-resources, and access databases. Email the info directly to the inquiring customer for later reference. How slick is that! Of every three GPL customers we approach, two are taking us up on our offer of immediate help.
There is no doubt that our customers are feeling the time crunch. Simply put, we need to save our customers’ time. Libraries can increase market share by repositioning themselves as a time-saving solution.
Speaking of time, the daffodils finally are up here in south western Ontario, so I am headed to the garden.
Have a great week. Spring has finally sprung!
email@example.com #6 March 2011