Viewing our libraries through our clients’ eyes

Posted on January 17th, 2008 in Libraries by Kirsty

The Transparent Library: Coping with Anonymity

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens — Library Journal, 1/15/2008

Your best response to this new world is to audit signage, library policy, and staff communication. Walking through the library with a customer’s eyes might lead you to change inappropriate signage. A user-centered look at the public policy manual may yield less rulebound guidelines. Finally, establishing a way for staffers and patrons to comment freely fosters openness.

For a while I’ve been thinking about the differences in practices in our libraries across the state – some relate to local needs and differences, others reflect a difference in the path travelled so far. I wonder what would happen if someone were to wander around the different library settings with a camera and document the spaces and signage?

This might be an activity to be undertaken at a statewide meeting – staff could be invited to ‘document’ their space and compare. It would certainly open up the discussion about where printers are located, or whether mobile phones or food are allowed.


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