Last year, I attended a presentation focused on convincing staff to use a new tool the library had purchased. The presentation offered up different ideas on how to do that.
The presenter (and, I assume, the library) didn’t seem to want to make learning the new tool mandatory, and were concerned that they might have to do that at some point.
Anyone else hear a problem with that concept? I sure did. I think there’s a better way to function.
Now … volunteering to do something can be perfectly fine, in the right context. For example, maybe the task isn’t in your job description but it needs to get done while someone else is out on extended leave, or maybe you do it in an interim capacity until someone else is hired.
Also, volunteering is fine during a pilot project phase. You know, that “we’re just testing this out and need feedback” phase.
But once the job or function or service is more formally offered by the library? Don’t take volunteers. No “convincing” needed.
Instead, assign the new service or tool or project to someone (a person, a department, everyone, etc), and expect that they will do that thing (whatever it is) or learn it in order to help customers. Also think about making sure someone is in charge of getting everyone trained, if you don’t already have a training program in place for it.
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After that? No convincing needed. It’s now part of someone’s job – just like working the reference desk, building a website, or cataloging a book.
image by Marc Falardeau