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Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Librarians

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bravo to Weingand for this superb application of sound customer service principles to libraries, especially public libraries. Drawing upon a keen understanding of how service businesses can indeed teach librarians a great deal, Weingand describes the types of library customers, customer diversity, fundamentals of customer service, benchmarks in library service, team approaches to organizing service, and relevant communication skills, which include active listening when dealing with customer complaints. Weingand's experience teaching library management and marketing and her Managing Today's Public Library (Libraries Unlimited, 1994) and Administration of the Small Public Library, 3d ed. (Professional Reading, LJ 6/15/92) establish her credentials to tackle this topic. Her frank assessment that people who use the library are customers, not patrons, is likely to raise a ruckus on the library listservs. A useful guide for library students, this excellent resource will also help libraries break the old paradigm of patronage to patrons, replaced by the reality of the futureserving their customers.Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
School Library Journal
Written to fill a gap in the literature on customer service in libraries, Weingand's book is just what the title promises--a concise guide for librarians. It starts with a broad philosophical discussion of the definition and components of customer service, drawing on human resource development theory and the identification of customer attributes. The next seven chapters review highlights of such topics as a team approach to improving customer service, problem solving, conflict management, and the roles of verbal and nonverbal communication in creating an organizational climate that fosters good customer service. Each chapter contains a library-oriented scenario illustrating the material, as well as a short case study that could be incorporated effectively into staff training. Weingand stresses quality of service as a potential competitive advantage that libraries can have over bookstores and other information providers, and she advocates doing a financial assessment of the role good service plays in day-to-day library operations. Final chapters contain specific strategies for success keyed to material presented earlier in the book. The strength of this title lies in its specific application to libraries. Readers searching for a more in-depth presentation on customer service will want to consult titles listed in the section on further reading. Many of these books are recognized classics in organizational theory and management.--Cindy Lombardo, Ashland (OH) Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838906897
  • Publisher: American Library Association
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Series: ALA Editions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Figures
Scenarios
"What Would You Do?" Cases
Introduction
1 The Philosophy of Customer Service 1
2 Focusing on the Library Customer 13
3 What Is Excellence? 32
4 The Team Approach 44
5 The Problem-Solving Process 62
6 Communication: The Language of Customer Service 79
7 Strategies for Success 98
8 Looking to the Future through the Lens of Customer Service 113
For Further Reading 125
Index 131
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