Library Staff Join for a Retreat Follow-Up

On January 14, 2011 staff members from various departments gather in the Paley Library lecture hall for the first follow-up to the July 2010 Public Services Retreat. Approximately 25 staff gathered for the meeting. There were four activities duirng the meeting.


First, we heard three lightning talks. A lighting talk is a very fast presentation. Each presenter was allowed only 4 minutes for their presentation. We heard from:

* John Pell – Negative Closure: Strategies and Counter-Strategies in the Reference Transaction

* Kathy Lehman – What is a Guest

* Rick Lezenby – A Complaint is a Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong

All three of the lightning talks were excellent and lead to some questions and good dicussion.

Next the group viewed a 15 minute video in which Joe Michelli, a user experience expert and author of books about the user experience at Starbucks, Ritz Carlton and other businesses, discussed how libraries can develop a unique user experience. He focused on something called the “Experiential Brand Statement” which basically states what type of experience is delivered. If you want to review the video or watch it for the first time you will find it here.

For the third activity the attendees organized into small groups and review a set of “next steps” from the first retreat. That is, what actions were recommended as next steps to follow up on the retreat and to keep the momentum going. Here were the top suggestions for what our next steps should be:

* Create a blog where staff can share their ideas related to customer service, user experience or retreat ideas (thus – this blog)

* Have occasional one hour meeting to discuss service issues, watch a related video or hear from a Skype speaker

* Appoint a “Broken Things Czar” who is tasked with identifying or collecting information about things that are not working and to work on getting them corrected

* Continue discussions about cross-training with the goal of making sure library users are never more than one person away from getting what they need

* Keep the discussion going on “How do we find out what the users want?”

For the fourth and final activity, Steven Bell introduced the “Capture Your Ideas” Project. To get started we watched this short video about the importance of writing down good ideas when you get them:

After watching the video, everyone received their own personal copy of a notebook for recording their great ideas. Here is a photo of the notebook:


Everyone will focus on ideas in three areas:
* Things you get ideas from when you listen to library users (e.g., complaints, questions, etc.)
* Things you observe by watching library users, particularly things they are doing in the library that are unexpected * Things that are broken
* Any general library-related ideas

At a future meeting we will bring and notebooks and share our ideas. If you didn’t get a copy of the notebook, but would like to obtain one, please contact Steven Bell. It didn’t take very long for the first idea to emerge. Kathy Lehman and Melanija Borlja recommended that we provide some of our student workers with idea notebooks so that they too could be a part of the project – and they are often the ones who observe and hear student behavior in public service areas. The retreat follow-up provided a good opportunity to keep the spirit of the first public services retreat alive in the library. Many thanks to all those who helped to plan the retreat follow-up and to everyone who particiapted. Be on the lookout for an evaluation survey.

Welcome to the TULibrary Experience Blog

On Friday, January 14, 2011 staff members gathered for the first follow-up meeting to the Public Services retreat held in July 2010. The meeting included lightning talks, a video viewing and discussion, a “next steps” discussion and the “Capture Your Ideas” project.

During the “next steps” activity the group identified several top options for how to keep our retreat discussions going and allow staff to engage in that discussion. One of the preferred next steps was to create a blog specifically for the public services retreat discussion and topics. That discussion resulted in the creation of this blog.

All staff are invited to participate in the TULibrary Experience Blog. Any staff member may add content on a topic related to the public retreat (and follow-up) conversations on user experience, customer service and service models. Share reflections, ideas, links to readings, etc.

If you already have an account for adding content to any TUL blog (e.g., TULibraries Insider Blog) you should see this new blog under your blog options. If not, let Steven Bell know and he will follow up on getting an account set up for you.

Enjoy the TULibrary Experience Blog. Let’s use it to create a better library experience for the Temple University community.