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6 Feb 2013 / Julie

If I ran a library…

If i ran a library I wouldn’t have ILL.

Calm down, kids, hear me out.

I walked past our ILL department the other day and one of our awesome ILL staff was asking a customer, “was it an ILL or a direct loan?”

For us, a “direct loan” is where you can have an item brought from one library to another for pickup.

The customer doesn’t know where a book is coming from, only that they want an item and they want you to provide it.

Hidden procedures.

Your customers don’t need to know the ins and outs of the backside of things. They ask for a book, just produce it, as if by magic.

(See: The Best Customer Service Experience, Ever.)


Of course we still want people to know exactly how awesome we are and how we work with others, so the book tag should say:

“This book is being loaned to you from LIBRARYA through the LIBRARYB because sharing is awesome. Please return this book to LIBRARYB by [due date].”

Note that the tag for the customer doesn’t have all the crazy library jargon business on it – NO NEED! Improve the experience for the customer, focus on their needs, NOT yours.

In short: Move the Question, Not the Customer. Make it happen as if by magic and don’t bog them down in your process. Just make it happen. Awesomely.

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