Today I attended the first day of a training session on Pro-active Service and Roving led by Joan Giannone of MentorGroup Training Inc. I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this training session since I am part-time contract staff.
The workshop taught me a new way to look at people coming into libraries – they are our customers! I like this approach in many ways as it creates a more balanced view of people coming into the library unlike the term “patron” which seems to create a sense of imbalance and hierarchy. Joan taught us a framework for customer interactions and though many of the steps were pretty basic, it was great to have a refresher on customer service skills and I really liked Joan’s idea of being proactive. Also, Joan helped with teambuilding by stimulating discussion so that awareness was created of the roles we all play in the library. I believe that when library staff are proactive they form a fundamental part of grassroots advocacy for libraries.