One of the sessions at this year's WLA Annual Conference is "Thinking About Customer Service Through Setting the Table." This session, led by Stef Morrill and Ryan Claringbole, will use a book club type method to go over the book Setting the Table by Danny Meyer, a restaurateur, looking at how his use of "enlightened hospitality" can be used in a library setting.
"In every business, there are employees who are the first point of contact with the customers (attendants at airport gates, receptionists at doctors' offices, bank tellers, executive assistants, [library workers]). Those people can come across either as agents or as gatekeepers. An agent makes things happen for others. A gatekeeper sets up barriers to keep people out. We're looking for agents, and our staff members are responsible for monitoring their own performance: In that transaction, did I present myself as an agent or a gatekeeper? In the world of hospitality, there's rarely anything in between." - Setting the Table, Danny Meyer
Setting the Table WLA Book Club Discussion at WLA 2015
The session will focus on the book, but also be a discussion on customer service in libraries: what works, what doesn't work, and what would people like to see. Library staff are great at providing the best service possible to their communities, and can provide each other with advice on how to enhance that experience with their communities.
Copies of the audiobook are available on the WPLC site. Copies of the book are available in library catalogs across the state. Use the Twitter hashtag #thelibrarytable to share your thoughts.
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team