May 08, 2012
Where is the Hospitality in Your Library?
Looking at the issue of Hospitality in one's library has been a recent subject of mine. I have given brief presentations on this topic at the Charleston Conference and the ABLD joint meeting last month (for business library directors).
On Friday, my colleague Tom Marini and I will be giving an expanded presentation on this subject. One of the important things that I wanted to look at was not just how to bring hospitality into the library, but how to do it when the budget is not working in your favor. When librarians at huge academic libraries like Michigan, Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Illinois, etc. talk about innovation and new services/programs, people can think that it is possible only because of large budgets and the good fortune of having a large operation. So what I wanted to do was to start to look at the hospitality services that we provide here at Kresge Business Administration Library that people can implement with modest or fundamentally no cost. This is a real takeaway that I think all librarians can use. It is not even a matter of people saying - "we can do this in our library" - but more along the lines that not all services have a price-tag. Additionally, sometimes its the little things that get people thinking differently about a service organization like the library. And lots of small things that are beneficial can really get people to appreciate and love (yep - LOVE) the library.
Here are the presentations (all in Deep Blue, the University of Michigan's institutional repository.
Title: Where is the Hospitality in Your Library? Developing and Improving Services with the Patron in Mind. (Michigan Library Association's Academic Libraries 2012)
Authors: Corey Seeman & Tom Marini (Kresge Library)
NOTE: This is the most recent version of the presentation. This is where I am starting to develop a notion of what we can do to bring hospitality into our library with little or no cost. That is a very significant issue when large libraries share what they are able to do. That is not always transferable to medium sized or smaller libraries. So I want to look more specifically at that notion as I build this thought out.
--older presentations on hospitality --
Title: Where is the Hospitality in Your Library? (Original presentation at Charleston Conference, November 2011)
Authors: Seeman, Corey
Abstract: In the library and information fields, we spend countless hours focusing on making our world a more self-service environment. While many students and faculty much prefer to work independently and easily find resources on their own, we have placed our emphasis on creating a self-service environment that removes the “middle man” from the information equation. And with the move that many have made away from conventional reference desks and reference service, we can (at times) look more like self-check express lanes at the grocery stores than like the libraries that we used to be. And while our patrons most certainly enjoy accessing resources in an unmediated fashion, there are many instances (especially with more difficult research projects) where they do need assistance with finding print and electronic resources. This presentation takes a brief look at how we have used the methods from the hospitality industry at the Kresge Business Administration Library (University of Michigan) to ensure that we are not only meeting the information needs of our patrons, but also being available to assist them when it is needed. In this presentation, we will discuss the role of public service in the library and how the lessons on the hospitality industry can improve our interaction with the patrons. We hope that attendees will be able to take away some tangible hospitality methods that have worked, as well as those that did not work. In focusing on hospitality, it allows us to think in a whole new fashion for the services that we provide.
Title: Where is the Hospitality in Your Library? (expanded presentation for a workshop with a group of librarians in Texas)
Same abstract as above.
I want to use this to get more discussion and works on this subject. This can be a real game changers for academic libraries!
Posted by cseeman at May 8, 2012 02:22 PM