work like a patron day – october 15

I’m at work today, not at the library but at the pool. The pool always goes through a lot of soul searching deciding whether to be open on minor holidays like US Columbus Day. The big rift is this: it’s a holiday so lifeguards and building managers would like a holiday. It’s also a holiday so the people who would be swimming have the day off and might want to use the pool. It’s pretty hard to make the right choice. If you’re closed, people will say they wanted to be there. If you’re open and no one shows up, your staff gets bored and annoyed.

The same thing happens with libraries, in a big way. Here in Vermont pretty much every library is closed on Sundays. This is nice for the librarian who wants to work mostly M-F but bad for the patron with regular work hours who would like to get to the library. I do admit that I applied for a library job in Vermont at one point and balked at the mandatory Sunday evening hours.

This is all my way of leading up to Brian Herzog’s Work Like a Patron Day which you may recognize seems similar to a few of Ryan Deschamps’ zero-tech 2.0 no brainers. The basic idea is to try to take your librarian hat off and see how your library feels to someone who uses all the public services and utilities — bathroom, computers, web interface, etc — and see if you get the same vibe off of it as you do as a staff member. Brian has demarcated October 15 — six months after National Library Week — as WLAP day and has some more information on the Library Success wiki. Try it out and see what you think.

4 Responses to “work like a patron day – october 15”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Recent OCLC studies have shown that libraries that have “banker’s hours” are not as successful. We are open for Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day and Sundays! (Happy patrons, grumpy staff) Of course, I don’t know how many calls I received today to check if we are open; by 10am we have had 20 calls :)

  2. Celia Says:

    Our college is more or less closed for t he holiday, but the library is open reduced hours, and here I sit. So far we are mostly getting questions like, where can I drop my application since X office is closed?

  3. Jim Allen Says:

    Hartness Library at Vermont Tech is open Sunday evenings–

  4. Åsa says » links for 2008-10-23 Says:

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