Why You Should Purchase A Mirror For Your Library

December 12, 2016 at 9:25 am | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Ashley Duguay, a Research and Education Librarian at Dartmouth College, Biomedical Libraries and first time NAHSL attendee, writes the blog post below.  As with many other of our NAHSL members, Ashley was inspired by Susan Keene Baker’s plenary session.  Thank you, Ashley and congratulations on winning one of NAHSL’s Professional Development Awards to attend the NAHSL 2016 conference!


The title sparked your interest, eh? Good! Because this post is all about providing good customer service to your patrons – which should spark your interest… Don’t worry – I’ll talk about the mirrors soon enough.

While attending my first NAHSL conference, I was completely blown away by Plenary Speaker, Susan Keane Baker. Just for some background information, Susan is a Patient Care Expert, is author of five books including, Managing Expectations: The Art of Finding and Keeping Loyal Patients, and is current commissioner on the Connecticut State Commission on Medicolegal Investigations. Her presentation was aimed toward us librarians and how we can provide better customer service to our patrons. Here are some of my takeaways.


  • Be the first to say hello. Smile. Make eye contact. Basically, address patrons how you would like to be addressed when checking out a book at the local library or buying food at the grocery store.
  • Service is always about the little things. Isn’t that what life is about too? Just me? Okay…
  • When answering the phone, be sure to listen and remember the persons name on the other end. This is something I have been really trying since attending NAHSL 2016.
  • Say you have a rude patron or are dealing with something stressful. It is only 10% of your day – don’t let it affect you.
  • Strive to be happy in your position.
  • If you are meeting with a patron or having them wait for you, let them know how long you will be.
  • Always review with patrons what you learned or went over with them.
  • Speak in past tense.
  • Continuously evaluate your customer service skills and think about what you can do to make visiting the library a more friendly and welcoming experience.


Last but not least, Susan Keane Baker suggested we all ready two books: A Man Called Ove and Split Second Kindness. Oh, and about the mirrors… Susan mentioned that hotels started putting mirrors up by their elevators and reportedly received less customer complaints about having to wait. Therefore, libraries should put mirrors in places where patrons have to wait. All problems solved! Just kidding. But I thought it was hilarious.

Ashley Duguay, MLIS, Research and Education Librarian, Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries


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