Monthly Archives: December 2011

Customer Service.


DH and I made an unexpected trip to a Major Alliterative Electronics Store (MAES) to return my Christmas gift, which was a netbook.  My previous netbook had seemingly stopped working (more on that later) and so DH got a new one for me.

I was mid-search yesterday when the new netbook went black. No amount of rebooting worked. I plugged it in and let it hang out for a while with no results. Disgusted, I decided to return it and instead get a new flatscreen television for the bedroom.

So….we trudge to MAES and encountered a young lady at the Customer Service desk, who proceeded to become snippy and condescending, in turns.  I was so irritated, I had to walk away from the desk, leaving DH to finalize the transaction.

Meanwhile, the woman that was supervising the desk was understanding and managed to talk to us about the problem without being either snippy or condescending. Regardless, I left MAES with a bad taste in my mouth…and that’s not the first time this has happened.  At this point, I have a feeling I will purchase electronics anywhere but there.

So, Library Directors….do you have a snippy and condescending person working your desk? Does he or she verbally sneer at patrons if they aren’t sure what book they’re looking for, or can’t remember whether they returned an item, or are simply asking a question? If so, you are dangerously close to losing that patron for life.

And that patron has friends. And those friends will hear how badly they were treated. And all of those people vote. Guess how well your bonding bill will go?

If you suspect one of your staff treats people like this but aren’t sure, ask around. Either coach them into behaving properly or free up their future. It’s important.  The future of your library may depend on it.

Oh, and my old netbook? I turned it on when we got home and it’s miraculously working again. Will wonders never cease.


Filed under Customer Service, Libraries and Librarianship

Greetings and musings

It’s hard to believe that Christmas and the New Year are upon us.  It’s been a year of ups and downs in my household, but all in all, everything has turned out well. I’m looking forward to a new year.

Merry Christmas to all…and Happy New Year.

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Filed under Me and mine


I had the opportunity yesterday to hang out at one of the local high schools and teach a group (well, five groups) of English students about databases, identifying good sources, and general research skills. All of this was done in a 50-minute class period, so it barely skimmed the surface.  It seemed well-received, though, and I think the students came away with a few tidbits.

In the course of the day we got to talking about their school library.  They have a librarian one day a week.  One. Day. That is a travesty.

The students also talked about the paraprofessional (who they assumed was the librarian) and mentioned how cranky she is. In her defense, the teacher talked about how this woman is now responsible for policing the library (and computer usage), and that there are fewer “labs” and so the library’s usage is exploding.

So here we have a high school with an overworked paraprofessional, who is trying to shelve books and police computers and answer reference questions as best she can, while the scope of her job has gotten so big that the woman is perpetually cranky. And we have a librarian available to the students on only one day, and it’s a day in which their classes are divided up into 40-minute increments, so the students have at most 40 minutes a week to talk to a librarian.

And we wonder why the research skills of incoming college freshmen are so weak.


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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."