Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There are no stupid questions

Patron: May I ask you a question?
Librarian: Of course, what may I do for you?
Patron: Can you tell me who wrote Bram Stoker's Dracula?
Librarian:  Bram Stoker.  Would you like me to check to see if we have a copy available?

It was very awkward.

What do you do?  How do you help someone save face?  It happens almost everyday.  Someone can't find a book on the shelf and when they follow you back to the stacks you find it instantly ... right where it belongs.  Or they can't find the start button on the copier.  Or ...

I have several stock responses.  "Oh, it happens to everyone."  "Sometimes it just takes a second pair of eyes."  I want people to be comfortable coming to the desk.  But if they're embarrassed once, will they come back?  And how do we prevent it? 

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