Electronic Services Librarian
University of Southern Mississippi
Imagine walking into your bank to make a deposit. As you approach the teller, you decide to ask about current CD rates. After asking your question, the frazzled teller says “Well, they’re on that big sign right behind me. Look for yourself!” If this attitude became the norm at your bank, you would probably begin to look for another bank one that treated you as a respected customer. Now transfer this same scenario to a library setting: the bank customer is the patron and the teller is the librarian. If that patron doesn’t receive the service she expects, she now has other choices, like fee-based agencies, database connections, or simply not using the library.
This article, which discusses how the concept of customer service can translate to a library setting, is arranged in three sections: 1) a discussion of the current state of customer-service orientation in the library; 2) an examination of top-ranked service providers in the corporate world and their philosophy of customer service; and 3) the viability of adapting a service mentality to the library setting.