Along with model reference behaviors, customer service is one of the most important aspects of being a public librarian. Customer Service: The Model Reference Behaviors module will go through customer service and the reference interview thoroughly. The following customer service resources will also be helpful for learning more about working with the public.
"How Do You Manage?" Series
Library Journal has a series called "How Do You Manage?" which presents real-life scenarios in libraries that have ramifications for libraries of all types everywhere. After the scenario is explained two librarians offer their opinions on how best to handle the situation.
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The Houston Area Public Library presents this tutorial that guides users through basic customer service skills.
Talking about Customer Service
From Information Outlook by the Special Library Association. This article emphasizes the importance of good customer service in libraries. Libraries who lose sight of this will inevitably discourage patrons and decrease the number of visitors to the library.
This article focuses on a population of young people that frequent the library. It goes beyond basic customer service skills and gives ideas on how to be proactive in helping patrons look for resources to better their employment, education or some other personal situation.
Customer Service Bibliography
The Metropolitan Detroit Medical Library Group created this list of articles, books, and other resources on the topic of customer service and libraries.
Infopeople Workshop - Customer Service Skills for Culturally Diverse Communities
Resources from a workshop focused on customer service for diverse communities, an important topic for today's public library workers.
Infopeople Workshop - Communication Skills for Front Line Library Staff
Resources from a workshop including exercises related to communicating with customers.
EBSCOhost Database Articles
Keeping up with the current trends on customer service can be difficult. However, many articles are available on EBSCOhost, available through Sailor. Try searching for terms like "customer service" and libraries to find relevant articles. Reading periodicals such as "Computers in Libraries," "Library Journal," and others can also provide lots of current information on trends in libraries. Here are a few of the best articles:
Customer Service and the "Rule of 1965"
This article serves as a valuable reminder that libraries exist to serve customers and library workers should strive to make library use a positive --not an intimidating-- experience for both themselves and those they serve.
Customer Service: A View from the Trenches
An opinion piece on the state of customer service in libraries and the need for improvement. The authors consider the role of the library and the differences between private enterprise and public service.
The Techniques and Benefits of Observation Inspired Customer Service
This article suggests that observation and intuition can be used to provide better customer service and to make both library work and library use more rewarding.
Too Much Customer Service?
This article offers some thoughts on bridging the divide between customer expectations and the services libraries can/will actually provide to their users.