Friday, September 3, 2010

Leading By Example (Or just sounding pompous?)

After taking the time to answer an emailed question, I posted this message (names of patron and libraries rendered generic for privacy) on the Library Staff Home Page: CUSTOMER CARE: At the risk of sounding like I'm "Tooting my own horn," I will share the reply I sent to a "Contact Us" question sent via OCLN [our network.] (They come to me and I forward to appropriate departments - often Circulation. However, just as I will leave to the office to check on a hold if Circ is busy, or take a message when the office staff are away from their desks, I sometimes use these questions as a chance to provide good customer care. I want to "walk my talk" and not just tell everyone else they should be providing good customer service. Question: Once I pressed on the Place Hold box, the next page stated: Hold Not Allowed. Would you please inform me as to why my request was denied? HW's Reply: Hello Ms. Patron, If you go back to the online catalog and check the list of libraries that own the recording, you will see that each one has the indication, in capitals, "Local Holds Only." That means the the copy owned by the Acme Public Library can only be reserved by borrowers who live in Acme, and the same is true for the other five. Of the six libraries that own it, as of right now four of them are either checked out or on hold. In most cases if you are a walk-in customer from out of town with an OCLN card, and find a "Local Holds Only" item on the shelf, you are allowed to check it out in person, but the system is programmed to reject holds for out-of-towners. Of the six, it looks like two of the copies are on the shelf right now. Because of the holiday weekend you may want to call and see if either of the owning libraries are open, should you wish to drive there and try your luck. (Obviously this is popular and could be checked out by the time you get there. Also, since both are on the coast Hurricane Earl could make this a less desirable option.) The libraries and their phone numbers are: Acme (555) 555-5555 and Anytown (555) 666-5555. I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions. Thank you. Harry R. Williams III, Library Director September 3, 2010.

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