Thursday’s Group

The Thursday group was a little more challenging than the Tuesday group.  Even still, they weren’t bad.  They just took a little bit more refocusing than the group on Tuesday.

I thought it was very interesting that both groups had so much overlap in their ideas for making the greeter desk work.  They both said that the desk works best when the library is busy and when there are two people on the membership desk.  This helps the person working the greeter feel better about “not working” (as they put it). They also suggested morphing the greeter desk into a new library card welcome center.

The current greeter desk is really more of a rolling kiosk.  When asked what they would do if money were no object, both groups said that they would purchase a more substantial desk.  The Tuesday group also said that they would hire additional reference staff because they don’t believe people feel welcomed by having to stand in line for answers to their reference questions.

Both groups felt strongly about the need for signage.  They included signage as something necessary for operations no matter how much money was being spent in our hypothetical situation.  They differed on what they thought the signs should say.  One group wanted a list of tasks that could be accomplished at the greeter desk, the other said that they just wanted something that said “welcome.”

The two groups disagreed on a couple of points.  The Thursday group said that they might be interested in having a receipt printer installed at the greeter desk.  The Tuesday group said that they were mostly against this option because they were concerned with the addition of a printer making the greeter desk into “just another membership desk.”

They also disagreed with staffing the desk when the library is quiet.  Tuesday’s group said that they thought it would be OK to staff the desk if it were changed into something like a “roving greeter.”  The explanation was that the roving greeter wouldn’t be tied to the desk, and could instead walk around the immediate area to greet people, offer assistance with the computers, answer the security alarms and handle other tasks as needed.  This way our branch would continue to be the most welcoming in the system.  Thursday’s group said that they would prefer to avoid staffing the desk during quiet times no matter what.

Both groups asked for increased communication about programs, meetings and events within the branch.  The Tuesday group wanted information so that they could tell our members where the programs are taking place.  The Thursday group wanted information so that they would know when to expect the library to be its busiest.

Overall, this was an interesting exercise.  I got some really great input from staff that I believe we can implement.  The key is to be nimble.  If something isn’t working, we need to scrap it and try something new.  Part of the challenge in that, is that we’re not used to doing things that way.  This will be a learning experience for all of us.  Now it’s time for us to come up with a plan and work to achieve it.


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