Friday, July 27, 2012

Keep calm and apologize

Yesterday, I got a call from the circulation desk, the clerk was transferring a call.  It was a very disgruntled patron who was convinced that the circ clerks had not checked in two DVDs he was certain he had returned.  So I took a deep breath and picked up the call.  Mr. M. was certainly cranky.  He was convinced that he had been mistreated by the circ staff and that they had bungled his transaction.  I apologized.  Not for any wrong doing, but just because he felt that he had not received the service he deserved.  I repeated what the circ clerk had told me.  They had checked for his items.  They would check again, but the desk was very busy and they couldn't do it right now.  I took his name, his card number, his phone number.  I confirmed the titles he was concerned about.  I told him I'd get back to him.  I said I was sorry for the inconvenience and assured him we would get it straightened out. He calmed down.  He said he'd check again to see if he still had the items.
Five minutes later he called back ... to apologize.  His wife had found the DVDs under the front seat of the car.  A favorite hiding place of missing items.  I let him off the hook and said we all have moments like that. 
It's amazing what an apology can do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinning in the Library

I have been having fun playing with Pinterest lately.  I've created lots of pinboards to organize my own interests.  One of my boards is labeled Library and I pin all the great display ideas, funny or pithy quotes, and other library related items I find on that board.  Then when we're talking about such things at work, I can actually find them again to show my co-workers because they're all in one handy place.
Something I've noticed (and love) is the number of libraries that are creating Pinterest accounts and using the boards to showcase displays, events, and booklists.  Very, very cool.  If you want to browse these library accounts go to Pinterest, search for "libraries" and limit your search to "People."
Over at the RA for All blog, Becky has written a couple of posts about using Pinterest in the library.  I'll try any tool that will help connect people with books they'll love. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some things never change

After helping a few folks with some eReader questions yesterday I was reminded of this video that imagines what tech support might have been like when the book was first released

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lists, I love lists

Check out this link to the Reader's Advisor Online list of summer reading lists.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Have you ever felt like you were being watched?

I've been following an interesting conversation at the ALA group on LinkedIn about a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Your E-Book is Reading You.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before we all found out that eReaders can and do collect data about us.
It shouldn't be a surprise.  Advertising and merchandising has always been dependent on an understanding of the customer.   Being able to find out so much about what readers do and do not like about their books is a treasure trove to publishers.
One problem I see is that it's early days for eReaders.  Not everyone uses an eReader, not everything is available on eReaders.  So the data set publishers are using reflects the reading tastes of only a percentage of all the readers and potential readers out there. 
Meanwhile, the data they're collecting: how long it takes a reader to finish a book, where they stopped, what they highlighted, doesn't tell the whole story.  Unless you know why you don't have the whole picture.  Maybe I stopped reading on page 53 because the kids got sick, maybe it took 2 weeks to finish the book because that was when the dog buried the reader in the backyard, maybe I let my 5 year old highlight that passage just to keep him occupied at the doctor's office.
As one comment noted, we have opened Pandora's Box and it's too late to go back now.  If publishers and authors can use the data to create books that reach more people (and sell more copies) that's a good thing.  If they end up stifling creativity to reach the least common denominator of readers that would be sad.