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Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Discussion: What Data Do You Want About Your Service to Readers?

In keeping with last week’s Monday Discussion when I asked what you wanted to know about your staff, today I want to know what you want to know about your service to your readers--from their perspective.

I don’t mean the obvious, as in you make a list of all the things you do for leisure readers at your library.  Rather what do you want to know about what your patrons, the readers you are serving, think about the services you provide to them?

As I prepare my new service of auditing libraries’ services to leisure readers, I am toying with the idea of capturing data about how patrons use these services, which they are aware of, and what they do NOT know you are trying to do for them.

For example, at my former employer I was very proud of the fact that we left out the return carts to encourage patrons to browse them.  Some did, but how many people didn’t know they were allowed to root through this treasure trove of reading suggestions.  Also, did people enjoy and use the annotated lists we prepared with our displays? Because if they did not either know about them or use them, that would be a problem. A lot of effort went into creating them. Could that time be better spent on a different service? One they actually would use?

If we want to improve our service to leisure readers, we have to understand what they want and need. We need to assess what we are doing that is working and what we are spending time on that is not succeeding.  RA service is VERY important as part of our libraries’ customer service and PR plan (more on this in future weeks), but it is also the easiest thing for library administrators to cut.

These are just a few examples.  Now it is your turn.

For today’s Monday Discussion let me know what data or information you want to know from your readers. If you could ask them what services they most want and/or already use, what would those questions look like.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

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