Thursday 6 June 2024

A modest proposal

A brief post, because it's been a long day.

In my first public library job, every single person in the library service worked reference desk shifts. All the way to the very top.

I see the value in this - if you lose that face-to-face connection with people in your community, how can you truly understand their information needs, and develop services that cater to what they want and needs - whether it's building collections, managing catalogue systems, planning programs or producing forms of in-person and digital engagement products.

So, my modest proposal: all organisations should have this approach to their frontline services. If your organisation (cultural or otherwise) has frontline customer services, then everybody - especially your senior staff - should have regular shifts working face-to-face with their customers. Even better - they should also roster in time moderating their social media channels and responding to comments and feedback.

I think a lot could be gained - especially in establishing measures that minimise the risk of harm to frontline staff. But also, it'd help everybody understand what their organisation means to their community.

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