RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to Use RA for All: Call to Action

Day 2 of my series of primers on how to use this blog as a resource is about my “Call to Action Posts.

As I mentioned yesterday, some of my RA Service philosophies are considered a little radical by your average library administrator, but they are only radical in that they eschew tradition and bureaucracy and put the patron first.

If you are going to follow this blog and use it as a resource, you need to spend some time in the Call to Action posts archive because the issues and concepts I post there are NON-NEGOTIABLE. If you disagree with much of what I have posted in that continuing series, this may not be the resource for you.

Everything I tell others to do, I have done myself. Every service or concept I promote is to better serve all patrons in every situation. However, as we all well know, library workers, especially those in charge don’t really like change.

Here’s the thing, I am a consultant now, but I have been a supervisor and department head, run a friends group, AND I am currently a 5th term library trustee. I have also spent time at dozens of libraries all over the country working with them to handle their specific concerns and issues. So don’t tell me I don’t understand the intricacies of running a library because unlike most consultants and most library workers, I have actually experienced the library world from every possible angle and continue to do so to this day.

[Ed note: I get accused of not understanding the plight of the average library a few times a month, but the truth is, I know better than most employees of any given library because I have seen more and done more than just about everyone I come into contact with, from big cities to tiny little, middle of nowhere towns, who, side note, don’t get enough credit for what a good job they are doing on a day to day basis with very little money.]

I am confident that I know what’s best to serve leisure reading patrons and have both balanced and considered it in relation to the limitations and concerns of the public library as an institution. This is the place from which the Call to Action Posts come. I also seek out the options of others I trust to share their thoughts, and the archive includes some of those guest posts too.

I use these posts as a wake up call. A way to get your attention. A way to stop you from simply doing things the same way just because that is how they have always been done.

But even more importantly, these posts are also there to help you to articulate how and why you should go about things differently to your supervisors. I have written the argument out for you and all you need to is present it to your boss.

I have heard back from many readers that they have done just this. Some bosses have come back to me with further questions while others have just allowed the staff member to give what I suggest a try because that staff member did research, sought the advice of an expert [me], and is doing it for the right reasons [serving patron better].

So yes, these Call to Action posts are meant to rile people up. They are purposely confrontational, but they are also well reasoned and useful.

Spend some time looking through the archive today, and find something new to try out at your library, tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, that’s when I will tackle my largest archive....my reviews and how to use them to help patrons.

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