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It’s not all about technology

Apr - 3 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

Aaron Schmidt has a funny post about “the way we’ve always done it” over at walking paper.

For some reason I've never thought to keep our stapler out on the Reference Desk for people to use. And I get asked for it probably 7 times per shift. Why has it gone back in the drawer? Most likely because we've always done it that way [thanks michael]. That's really not a very good reason. There are probably 10 other little things that we've “always done” that, if changed, would make our lives, and our patrons' experience better.

See – it’s not all about technology – sometimes it’s as simple as putting a stapler out for people to use instead of hiding it. We’re so used to doing things the way we always done them that we don’t see the obvious.

I have another good example (not as funny – but just as relevant). I have been helping make my staff’s lives easier for the last 2 years by creating databases left & right. A few months ago this all paid off (for me). One of our librarians came to me and asked if maybe there was a better way to track reference questions. Right now they’re using a sheet of paper with a grid on it. When a question is asked a tick mark is made in the right box, then the data is typed into a spreadsheet. They’ve always done it this way, but because I keep making changes and teaching my staff – they have started thinking differently. I’m not for change for change’s sake — I am all about change for improvement’s sake.

So, I’m very happy to read about Aaron’s simple change.


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