How do your library customers interact with you? Do they send email to a general email address? Can they contact you via IM or vendor-created chat services?
Who is responsible for providing that help? Of course librarians and information staff should provide service, but what about the general public? If someone knows something about your library and its policies, why shouldn’t they be able to share that information with the world?
At MPOW, we’ve been experimenting with using Get Satisfaction as an additional channel for monitoring public opinion of the library and its services. So far there are only two of us from the library answering questions, but I imagine that will change soon as we become more familiar with the service and come up with some informal policies around how we should use it.
But something interesting has happened in the last couple of days. We’ve had a Get Satisfaction account since sometime last summer, but I hadn’t done anything with it until I posted an announcement about the service to our Twitter account In a matter of hours of that first tweet, a question popped up about borrowing video games. It was started by one library user, and soon, another library user came by and added her/his own question about how to find video games in our catalogue. I couldn’t be happier that this is gaining traction, but what I’m most excited about is the possibility of opening up the conversation about MPOW to the wider community.
I also love the language Get Satisfaction uses to describe the exchanges that take place there. We’re “ready to listen and respond” which presents us in a receptive, helpful, and approachable light. Not only that, but the “growing number of customers” makes my heart do a little dance, because it means people are paying attention and are building a sense of loyalty to the library.
If you work in a library or in another non-profit public organization, are you using services like Get Satisfaction to interact with your customers? What other interesting ideas are you coming up with for communication?
Be sure to check us out – http://getsatisfaction.com/vancouverpubliclibrary.