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Building an individual library service for each user Steve Lee University of Glamorgan.

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Presentation on theme: "Building an individual library service for each user Steve Lee University of Glamorgan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building an individual library service for each user Steve Lee University of Glamorgan

2 Exercise u Please split into 3 groups and in 10 minutes please jot down on one piece of paper the top ten or twenty things that cause you most problems with your job and that if you could resolve them would make your job much easier. Be Specific!!! u On another piece of paper jot down anything that annoys you when you go into shops a supermarket.

3 My Job Problem List - as an example u 1. Getting the LRC Senior Management to make decisions, reply to s etc. u 2. Meet target for stock editing u 3. Keep up to date with ILS NVQ assessment work. u 4. Manage ATHENS and Electronic Resource Problems better. u 5. Find time to do SAPS Review Reports u 6. Find time to do more second and third year advanced user education u 7. Work on the Blended Learning Project to SMT Guidelines u 8. Arrange to visit all Lecturers regarding their LRC use and any problems and their research interests.

4 My List : Continued u 9. Deal with large pile of donations and books on my desk. 10. Get Clock Time card up to date 11. Better manage 12. Sort out authentication problem for Talis List 13. Sort out new hardcopy catalogues to send to lecturing staff. 14. Classify off air video recordings to go into stock 15. Sort out LRC Contingency funding application for new SAPS courses 16. Get Shibboleth project started.

5 Your Turn u Off You go to your groups. u Please take two pieces of Flipchart Paper. u Get one group member to record all the problems on one sheet – shopping dislikes on the other. u Back in 10 minutes please.

6 A look at your problems u Are they similar or different? u Are they resolvable or not? u How can we tackle them? u The model I will outline later may help with your problems as well as those of your customers.

7 A look at your shopping dislikes u Are they similar or different? u Why do these things annoy us?

8 Another couple of lists u Problems for me are often around managing my time in relation to students, teaching, research and admin. Usually admin and students impinge upon research time and getting a good block of time to get research off the ground is quite difficult. u - Managing Timetable to block or organise time. u - dealing with and telephone enquiries from students and potential students and previous students u - accessing journals on line can be problematic - often the papers needed are not subscribed to.

9 Continued: u - sometimes searches on LRC search engines such as Ingenta and Psyinfo do not throw up papers you know should be there and sometimes you can get them more easily on google! u - marking large numbers of scripts and getting them turned around in a relatively short period of time. u - filing papers and organising lectures, information, booking rooms etc. - this kind of general admin often suffers due to time constraints. u -keeping up to date and developing new courses u - developing new research links and ideas.

10 Another List: u 1. Excess of long meetings - both internal and external community consultations u 2. Yearly update of modules with current literature u 3. Only being allowed 15 books out at a time from the library :- u 4. Dealing with student problems and complaints u 5. Meeting deadlines for administration support for degrees

11 Continued: u 6. Finding time to research and write several academic papers each year u 7. Finding time to obtain external funding for research u 8. Time it takes to organise marketing of the degrees to all target groups. u 9. External examining work for other universities u 10. Responding to s - on average per day.

12 Final List u I have only 3 problems u And they are probably all joint first priority:_ u Too much time answering general s u Too much time spent repeating instructions/explanations to students --- who generally didn’t turn up or listen the first time! u Dealing with too may issues ---so only spending little bits of time with/on each---so never making much progress on any!

13 What am I saying with these lists? The Golden Rules u Our customers needs are different to ours. Library matters are not priority. u Our job is to help solve their problems. u We should try to make their life easier (they have got a lot to do), not harder by our systems and bureaucracies. u Before we do anything at all we should ask will this make my customers lives easier or harder?

14 Can we trust them? u In most cases if you trust people they will live up to the trust. u There are always exceptions. u We should try trust with Staff and Researchers before we put in regulations for the worst scenario

15 Why should we make life easier for our customers? u Because if they value us and the services we supply they will fight to keep us. (Note the staff boycotts in London when specialist library staff were dismissed recently) u If we make their life harder then why should they value what we do? They will think things will probably be better without us!

16 So if we are going to try and make life easier for them – how? u Go out and visit them in their rooms and departments. u (This is important you are on their turf not yours). u Ask them what their problems are with the Library and how you might be able to help. u With them use the following model to try and resolve their problems

17 Creating an Individual Library Service Action Cycle Feedback to customers and self Identify needs Set objectives to meet each aim Set aims to meet needs Take action to meet objectives Evaluate success of action meeting aims and objectives

18 What do our academic customers want? u For the books, Journals and other items that are required to support their teaching to be in the Library in sufficient quantities when they are needed. u When this does not happen, for whatever reason, fast help to resolve the problem/s caused by this.

19 What do our academic customers want? Continued u For the Library to provide them and their students with education on how to undertake effective literature searching and to use effectively the different electronic and other resources available. u For Library staff to order requested items to support their research needs. u For the library to put in place effective inter-library-loan facilities of differing speeds and costs. (Fast Digital on- line (e.g. Zetoc) Fast next day service (e.g. Presto ILL) Ordinary ILL)

20 What do our academic customers want? Continued u To be able to renew books, request books reservations and inter library loans on-line or via . u For Librarians to OWN their problem and see it through to completion, not just refer it on to someone else and forget about it.

21 Some things our academic customers DO NOT want? u Continued aggravation from students because they cannot get what they need from the Library. u Library staff blaming them when things are not in the library rather than setting about solving the problem. u Library staff creating barriers and bureaucracies which make their lives and their students life harder for no apparent reason.

22 What do our student customers want? u For the books and Journals and other items that are required to support their Learning to be in the Library in sufficient quantities when they are needed. u When this does not happen, for whatever reason, fast help to resolve the problem/s. u Help NOW not next week.

23 What do our student customers want? Continued u To be able to renew books, request books reservations and inter library loans on-line or via . u For Librarians to OWN their problem and see it through to completion, not just refer it on to someone else and forget about it. u Education about finding and evaluating information and help on how to use the Library's Electronic and other resources and self service facilities, both on and off campus.

24 What our Students DO NOT want! u Excuses. u Us blaming the Academic Staff. u To be referred to someone else and then be forgotten about u To be given an appointment next week to deal with a problem they have now. u THEY WANT SOMENE TO HELP THEM NOW. If this is not possible they want people to own their problem and see it through so they get help at the first possible opportunity.

25 How would we solve these problems? u Ask the Staff and Students what they need from you and the Library and write these needs down. u In the light of these needs set about identifying things you can do something about straight away. u Make these into immediate aims. u Set obtainable objectives to meet these aims u Take action to achieve aim and objectives u Evaluate how successful you have been

26 How do you do this? u One example in one of the lists earlier was the staff member who needed to be able to borrow more books than we currently allow. u So my aim is to address this need for more books u I set the following objectives to meet this aim.

27 Objectives u To ask if it is reasonable for staff to expect to be able to borrow more? u Do research on Lis-link and elsewhere to establish what other Institutions loan staff. u Present evidence to library colleagues and if justified propose an increase in loan items for staff. u If agreed request matter is considered by the SMT and Library Committee. u Get Number of loans increased for staff.

28 Take Action u Address each objective. As one objective is achieved move on to the next so you have measurable progress towards your aim. u At any stage your action might fail. For instance you might find that staff members at your institution already get way over the average number of items that most other institutions loan.

29 Evaluate and Feedback u If they are already getting above the average- feed this back to the Academic. u Explain that because of this you might not succeed in getting the policy change needed but you will try. u Continue with the action towards your aim until you either succeed or fail. u When you do make sure you feedback what happened and why it happened. u Tackle each specified Need in the same way.

30 Periodically Revisit Staff and Re Assess Needs. u Set new aims and objectives to meet their needs. Take Action, Evaluate success and failure. Feedback and so on.

31 If you do this u Your staff will know you. u They will know you are there to help. u They will work with you. u They will know that you are interested in their problems and getting them resolved as soon as you can. u Where you cannot do what they need they will know you have tried your best and why you cannot help.

32 If you provide a valued service your customers will not want to lose you. u The way to keep and develop the Information Librarian role long term is to make yourself so proactive in solving your customers problems that they cannot afford to lose you. If they do they will know that they will have to do all the things you do for them, themselves.

33 And Finally u If you have not got one yet. u Set up an ordering system u Send Staff and Researchers Lists of new hard copy and electronic books and other items in their subject areas only every month. u Let then back order requests from these. u Add fund codes and send on to LRAs to order u Tell staff when you have ordered the items. u Reserve a copy for them on arrival. u This will help to meet quite a lot of their needs in one go.

34 Any Questions?

35 For Managers u If your Staff employs this model you must be prepared to change things in the light of what customer needs they discover. u To raise people hopes and expectations that their needs will be met and then do nothing to meet them devalues us and our job role more than anything else.

36 Thanks for Coming Make yourselves irreplaceable!!! Good Luck u Steve Lee 2006 u Contact Details u u Phone


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