The term 'customer service' is not new to the academic library community. Academic libraries exist to serve the needs of their community, and hence customer service is essential. However, the term can be applied in a variety of ways, from a thin veneer of politeness, to an all-encompassing ethic focussing organisational and individual attention on understanding and meeting the needs of the customer. For customers, the library's Front Line team is the 'human face' of the library. How well they do their job can have a massive impact on the quality of the learning experience for many students, and can directly impact upon their success. The importance of their role, and the quality of the services they offer, should not be underestimated – but in an increasingly digital world, and with potentially several thousand individuals visiting every day (whether in person or online), each with their own agendas and requirements, how can the library's Front Line team deliver the personal service that each of these individuals need? Customer Service in Academic Libraries contributes to what academic libraries, as a community, do really well – the sharing of best practice. It brings together, in one place, examples of how Front Line teams from libraries across a wide geographical area – Hong Kong, Australia, Turkey and the United Kingdom – work to 'get it right for their customers'. Between them, they cover a range of institutions including research-intensive, mixed HE/FE, private establishments and shared campuses. All have their own tales to tell, their own emphases, their own ways of doing things – and all bring their own examples of best practice, which it is hoped readers will find useful in their own context.
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
About the Editor
About the Contributors
Chapter 1. “Customer Service”—What’s the Big Deal?
What’s in a Name?
Thinking Like a Customer
Mapping Your Customer’s Experience
Customer Service Standards
Building Customer Relationships
Chapter 2. Staffing the Front Line
Recruiting, Developing, and Rewarding Staff
Listen and Learn
Chapter 3. Marshalling a Century of Experience: Customizing Services for the Next Generation of Users
An Institution Amidst Rapid Changes
Historical and Emerging Roles of the Libraries
Holistic Approach to Building a Service Culture
Knowing the Users and Striving for Continuous Quality Assurance
Nurturing a Customer-Centered Team
Strategic Application of User and Staff Surveys
Next Goal—All-Dimensional Experience
Chapter 4. Customer Service in a 24/7 Environment: The Exeter Experience
Initial Training and Mobilization
Maintaining a Roving Culture
Roving and Communication
Recognition and Feedback
Ongoing Challenges and Developments
Chapter 5. Customer Service at Victoria University, St. Albans Campus Library
Customer Service: What Does it Mean to Me?
VU Focus on Customer Service, Drivers, Etc.
Library Focus: What Does Customer Service Mean to Us as a Service
St. Albans Campus Focus: What Does Customer Service Mean to Our Staff?
How Do We Recruit for Customer Service?
How Do We Train Staff?
Student Mentors: Rovers, Student Assistants, Research Ambassadors, and Writing Space Mentors
How Do We Know When We are Getting it Right?
What Have We Learnt So Far?
Chapter 6. Innovations in User Services at Sabanci University Information Center
About Sabanci University
About the Information Center
Rooms Booking System
Nothing Endures But Change. (Heraclitus, 540 –480 BC) (Fechete 2014)
Improving Ideas Comes with Erasmus
Problems with the Reservation System
Chapter 7. Library Services for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus: Listening to Our Customers in a Shared Services Environment
Background and Context
Customer Care and Our Customers
Customer Consultation and Feedback
UCF LibQual Survey 2013
Chapter 8. Where Next for the “Front Line”?
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Stephen Mossop is Head of Library Services at the University of Exeter, UK. He has published and presented widely on aspects of Strategic Organisational Development and Library Management, and has special interests in library design, RFID and customer relationship management. He is best known for his 2008 case study on RFID at the University of Central Lancashire (for the BIC e4libraries project).