If your library’s like mine, you have staff-only ways to access library stuff … things like employee parking, a staff-only entrance, a back-end way to access the library catalog, etc. Whenever I put a book on hold, I get it delivered via inter-office mail.
I never have to use the library like a patron if I don’t want to!
My question – is this a good thing?
Try using your library like a patron. Is it easy or hard? Is there something that frustrates you about the whole process? It’s probably doing the same thing to your patrons.
Here’s a thought – maybe we should create a “Work Like a Patron” week, where we only use the library like our customers do – use your library’s wifi (bonus points for using a Public PC), search using the patron version of your catalog, maybe even sit at those lovely desks in the library. Or hang out in a cafe, accessing all work- and library-related stuff from outside of the building. Use the front door, and see the library through your patrons’ eyes.
This works for the IT department, too. Use library employee tools like … library employees, rather than like IT dudes and dudettes. Is it hard? If so … it’s probably hard for the rest of the library, too. Make it work for everyone!
If it worksÂ wonderfully, great! If not, maybe you have some things to improve.