Nationally-known library consultant Pat Wagner will present a three-part webinar series on April 1, 8 and 15, focusing on customer service in libraries. All of the webinars will be recorded and posted to the WVLS website. Each webinar is worth 1 contact hour.
The series is presented by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service, along with support from the Northern Waters Library Service and the Southwest Wisconsin Library System. Registration is now open for all three webinars.
The Ethics of Library Customer Service: Fair Treatment for Everyone
Wednesday, April 1; 1 pm
FULL (at capacity)
The four principles of library ethics are privacy, transparency, access, and fair treatment. As applied to the service desk, it translates into ensuring that the library respect the privacy of the library users’ visits and transactions, that rules and policies are written in plain language and available to everyone and applied to everyone, that everyone in your greater community or institution, regardless of their situations, can have the information they need and want, and that everyone is treated with courtesy and respect, regardless of their status. No special favors for friends or family, no deferring to status, no gossiping about library customers.
Dealing With Hostile and Potentially Dangerous Library Users
Wednesday, April 8; 1 pm
1 Contact Hour
Good manners and a friendly demeanor can handle most library customer issues. But what if being courteous is not enough? Do you, your staff, and your co-workers know what to do if someone is emotionally bullying or physically threatening to staff or other customers? Belligerent? Acting out because of drugs, alcohol, or other cognitive issues? Refusing to leave? Caught stealing or damaging property?
The awareness, attitude, and actions of library employees are the first defenses against customers who are AOA (Angry on Arrival).
Make safe practices a priority for front line staff. Planning, consistent enforcement of policies, training, support from supervisors and managers, and applied technology can work together to protect employees, customers, vendors, and visitors as well as your workplace’s property.
When the Library Makes Mistakes
Wednesday, April 15; 1 pm
1 Contact Hour
Some mistakes are easy to fix, like giving someone the wrong change when they’re paying a fine, or mispronouncing the name of an author. What’s harder is when a library user feels they have been insulted or abused by a staff member, when they see or hear other library users receiving deferential treatment denied to them, when they experience incompetent assistance, or when they are given wrong information. When they are accused, wrongly of course, of stealing from the library. When they are made fun of because of the way they speak or dress, or when the library fails to ensure their physical and emotional safety.
Pat Wagner has been a library trainer and consultant since 1978. She focuses on skills that support the success of libraries, from front line customer service to strategic planning. Although she has worked for some of the largest urban and academic libraries, she mostly serves small and medium-sized organizations. Pat is a frequent speaker at state and national library conferences and has worked with Wisconsin libraries from Ashland to Kenosha. She is known for her practical and good-humored programs. Pat is a proud graduate of George Nelson Tremper High School in Kenosha, and still loves her beer, brats, and kringle.