Sunday, 25 September 2011

If I had a fairy godmother....

...who could wave her magic wand....

  • and arrange for me to spend more time on the issue desk at work I would be happy - for a manager this may sound like a contradiction in terms and I am sure there are plenty who would say that the manager's role is not on the issue desk. But what a superb place to develop relationships with users! Granted we could do away with the issue desk altogether of course and introduce roving, or I could station myself in the social space in the Faculty. As it is my tactic is usually to potter strategically (no, I cannot describe my brisk walk as a potter - substitute potter for 'pass through the Faculty at a brisk pace' if you would) with coffee mug in hand entering into conversations with those I happen to bump into. Lets hope that those who have encountered me in the Faculty don't read this! The tactic does work very well actually but - just now and again the casual issue desk chat is equally productive in all sorts of different ways. Bring back issue desks I say.

  • and give me more hours in a day this would be wonderful - perhaps this just sounds plain greedy or like someone who should go on a time management course or someone who just hasn't got the work/home balance sorted. I truly love my job though and I want us to be better and better at what we do and what I do. So could I have at least one day a week which is maybe 36 hours long?

  • and arrange for the powers that be to understand the massive impact that personalising a library service can have. I have just paid a visit to a small specialist library where the context of who they serve and what they require is clearly understood. The services that have developed because understanding the context are personalised and yet community-based and just 'fit' the users - you get a sense of a favourite coat that fits really well and is practical and yet attractive, is yours and yet willingly lent out to another. In this library, the desk space can be booked and is yours, from one week to three years; the books from the library shelves that you have around you on the desk are yours, BUT others can borrow them from you if they leave a polite note. Your space is yours, but you empty the bin at your desk and you help the library staff with stockcheck; you re-shelve the books and you take a turn making tea for everyone. A personalised tailored service, based on understanding the context within which it sits but assumes that personalised also means there may be an element of a price to pay -your own contribution to the service. I loved the community feel and the sense that users look out for each other. The library does not have very many staff, but they have used their time wisely for the benefit of the users.

There is more that a fairy godmother could do for me, but lets not demand too much at one time!

(Photos courtesy of libatcam)


  1. That library does sound too good to be true, must visit some time!

  2. Intrigued by the library, can you give a clue?