Cafe / Express Books Moving; Library Entrance Opening October 31

The issues that postponed the opening of the new cafe / library entrance have been resolved and we are set to open on Tuesday, October 31.  On Monday night we will install the new staff service points, remove the old desk, and move a self-check from the circulation lobby to the new entrance area.

We will also be moving the Bestseller Express Fiction and Nonfiction into the circulation plaza.  This is being done to free up shelving near the new entrance, but also as a pilot project for upcoming changes to the circulation plaza.  We are testing out locations with some of our older metal shelving.  If the placement doesn’t work we can easily move the collections and try other spots within the circulation plaza.  If it is successful we will probably investigate new shelving with a similar footprint.

77 thoughts on “Cafe / Express Books Moving; Library Entrance Opening October 31

  1. Can we use this as a place to keep track of things that pop us? We’ve been emailing, but it might be better to have an easy place to keep track of ideas and changes.

    It’s own Quick link would be even better.

  2. TJ put the cart with Media desk items we may still need in the call center.

    There is now a cart by the kiosks for books that need to go downstairs.

  3. Carrie Cummings on said:

    As far as I know, the cafe hours are not changing. Right? So will these doors be closed when the cafe is closed? I heard the room was open last night and I don’t recall that ever coming up in discussion. Thanks.

  4. My understanding is that the cafe will close the shutters between the kitchen and the dining room when they are closed, but the dining room will stay open during library business hours. We are responsible for closing those doors when we close in the evenings.

  5. Terry Miller on said:

    Several patrons have requested more computers where they can sit and browse in the Media Room (where the catalogs were). Not everyone can stand at the new catalog bank, which seems to be more for people who know what they are looking for. A few people have walked in and just turned around and walked out. Possibly someone from management could be on the floor for a while to answer questions about the new service model, as we in Public Services and Circ are sort of learning on the fly and busy helping people find their way around. This is a big change for people.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Thanks Terry. We can look into other catalog solutions. I spent about 90 minutes on the floor this afternoon and was helping customers and sharing how the space was rearranged and why we made these changes.

  6. Terry Miller on said:

    From a customer service perspective, we could use another staff computer. For example, one of us is showing a database to a customer and another just needs to jump on Polaris to check on a hold. Customers are backing up waiting for simple issues that would be easily be addressed with another computer or tablet. There is another computer by the cafe walk-through, but most customers are stopping at Media 1.

    • Miranda Ericsson on said:

      When I arrived in media today I restarted the computer because SAM was already running. After the restart, the computer automatically logged in as staff, with no password required. The staff login allows the bibliotheca programs for monitoring the gates, and use of Polaris, but Shelby discovered that it does not have access to network drives or printers. We called DS, and Brian and Joey said that this computer is set up to work like the one in the circ lobby, to monitor the gates and use Polaris with the staff login. Under that staff login there is not access to the network drives or printers.

      Since we really need to keep the computer up without logout time between staff changes (even 1-2 minutes with the gates means a risk of loss), and we need to avoid being locked out of programs as mentioned in Carrie’s comment, it seems that the shared staff login is probably the best bet for this station. However, no network drives means no access to a spreadsheet for stats, and printing will have to be done elsewhere. Posted for discussion!

    • Deborah Bryan on said:

      There are 4 iPads in the Call Center – feel free to grab one to use. Not ideal, I know it takes twice or three times as long to do things on them but better than nothing perhaps?

  7. Carrie Cummings on said:

    There are a number of programs that don’t allow multiple people to be logged in at once – SAM PC Manager, using the RFID pad w/ Polaris, the gates program. At least those. I wanted to check/update someone’s PIN in SAM, but since Terry and I were both logged in on Media 1 I couldn’t get in to the program to do that.

  8. Carrie Cummings on said:

    We need Library News in the media area, possibly by the catalog computers or where they were before. We often use that for the bookmobile schedule and classes, of course. It seem like keeping those standing desks supplied might be difficult, there’s less eyes-on time.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Carrie- that is a good idea. I will share your suggestion to Communications and Marketing.

      • Carrie Cummings on said:

        Thanks, Marie. And as far as supplies I was thinking more about pens, pencils, SD card, new library cards, flash drives, etc. Materials we have in the desk and use often as well as making sure special items don’t go missing.

  9. Jacob Ziegler on said:

    The Media1 PC by the 3d printer has an issue with it’s RFID pad, I’ve sent in a ticket because it truly isn’t working. As far as SAM goes, to get around the multiple logins blocking printing passes, I’ve pre-printed some guest passes and put them in the cabinet below. I was thinking of putting them on a sheet of paper and thought maybe someone could print off 20 or so in the morning and toss the previous days passes. However, it is a bit difficult to peel them off the sheet of paper, I’ve put a few on the scrap pieces of paper for now, maybe that would work? If you need to use SAM to check their balance, import them, or uncheck the box that they are on-line, you can use a web page I made some time ago available on the L:, you can find that here: L:\Groups & Teams\Circulation\SAM Import Link\Old Sam.html That will let you import them and has some important links that you may find useful.

  10. Jacob Ziegler on said:

    The other issue I have found is there isn’t a good spot for leftover prints by the printer or scrap paper. For documents that seem important that were left by the printer, I’ve just kept them next to the computer for now. If anyone has ideas on a better sport, let me know!

  11. Linda Baldwin on said:

    We’ve been getting many positive comments about the Express Fiction/Nonfiction in our Circ Plaza. 🙂 The shelving, although temporary, is a nice height & is nicely placed. However, I am concerned that little ones might get their hands caught behind the shelves, since they rock backwards… :-/ Is there anyway to reinforce the backs to the shelves?

  12. Meredith Snepp on said:

    Interesting feedback about the color of the cafe sign, from several people all saying the same thing:
    the green color reminds them too much of Starbucks!

      • Kimberly Sain on said:

        The sign was illuminated when I arrived at the Media gate station at 5:00, it’s 6:10 now and it’s off, so turning off the Millennium Cafe sign must be a Cafe staff closing duty. But the Cafe seating is open to the public as planned. Who made the new Cafe signs? They’re quite striking.

  13. perry-hartmann on said:

    Maybe a sign by the new entrance to the cafe saying “please check out materials before entering cafe”

  14. May we have clarification regarding food in the library. LeAnn just sent out an email about snacks being allowed, however I’ve had staff say food (sandwiches, meals) from the cafe’ are to be allowed to come into the library. Does this mean cafe’ food is allowed but foods from other businesses (Burger King) are not?

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Nessa- snacks and covered drinks are what can be brought into the rest of the library. This includes the Media room regardless of whether they are purchased at the Cafe or not.

  15. Meredith Snepp on said:

    Meg and I were discussing the new set-up and we wondered: did ILL/Circ and PS “default” to ILL/Circ manning the anchor near the gates and PS manning the anchor towards the entrance, or was that an intentional thing?
    Additionally, is the “end goal’ of this to only have 2 staff members working the room, with PS rotating like we do with basement ref/roving?
    These may not be questions we can have answers to yet, but they are food for thought and things to consider.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      The goal is for the 3 staff members to cover the room. There is not a PS staff point and an ILL staff point. The 3 people on the shift should work out who is going to work each of the points.

  16. Carrie Cummings on said:

    So at the gates computer I have been logged in as Staff for this last couple of hours. It doesn’t lock on it’s own and I don’t believe we should lock it even when we are not standing right in front of it. We wouldn’t be able to see with a glance what the gates are telling us if it is locked. That said, it’s easy to lock it out of habit so Joey said the password is the common library password if that does happen. I did log into my own Spark and Polaris (I think you have to do your own login for Polaris) but definitely need to remember to log out. When I logged into my email and Leap I logged out immediately just so I wouldn’t forget. I think those will be harder to remember.

    So we don’t have a plan for doing the Gates stats yet? Could we have a file on the desktop of this computer? Christina would have to get them separately from the other stats but maybe that would work. I’ve been writing them on a little piece of paper for now….

    • Deborah Bryan on said:

      It was my experience when we had the anchor point in the reference room that if we left the computer unlocked and walked away people would walk up to it and use it – they thought it was a computer for patrons to use, not a staff only computer.

  17. FYI – TJ and I are working on a Public Services team page on the intranet to keep track of:

    -Info we need that used to be kept in notebooks: instructions, passwords, etc.

    -Info about seasonal, unexpected, or atypical events like tax forms, solar eclipses, healthcare marketplace workshops, etc.

    -Changes in and discussions about continuing service-point changes (like we are currently holding here).

    We hope to have it up and running late next week.

  18. Meredith Snepp on said:

    I’ve been “on” Media for the last 20 minutes and have had a couple of elderly people express their dismay/concern with the idea that they can’t sit down to search the catalog. I pointed out the catalog computer with a chair, but one gentleman asked me if it was in use, was there no other option? Just passing on the comment 🙂

    • Lissa Staley on said:

      One way to improvise if people want to sit to use the catalog is to show them how to log onto any public computer, which all have chairs.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Meredith- we are still reviewing usage of the sit down catalog computer so this information is valuable for us to figure out how many sit down we need for this space.
      Thank you.

  19. Kimberly Sain on said:

    Not noticing people using the catalog computer by the back windows much (where the DVD dispenser used to be). If there is demand for another sit-down computer by folks with mobility issues, perhaps moving that computer to the front is an easy option.

  20. Carrie Cummings on said:

    I am finding it a challenge to communicate with my coworkers while working in media – the others in media and the rover especially. Their access to Spark is limited because there’s sharing of the Media 1 station and often they are away from the desk anyway. So if I’m working the gates computer and have a request for a bookmobile or downstairs item I’m searching all over to find someone to tell (so we can keep the gates covered and also retrieve the item). If we are relying on the phones for this, it will be tricky since often we don’t have pockets available.

    • T. J. Troughton on said:

      I agree. The lines of sight could be better. Does the Gates computer have to be oriented towards the café? Couldn’t it face the center of the room so that you have a better chance of at least seeing the rover?

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Carrie- I know not everyone has pockets. Would it be helpful to have a phone clip to wear so staff can more effectively work the room.

  21. Carrie Cummings on said:

    Another thought while I work here. The kiosk by the media gates doesn’t have a wooden table next to it and it was awkward for some folks checking out a stack of Books on CD because they didn’t have a place to put the checked out items. Can we get a table for this one?

    Also, the computer here is plugged into an outlet on the column behind us and it is a bit out in the open and accessible. There was a chair pulled over next to the column this morning which I slid back over to the windows next to the outlet. Covers for the outlets on the columns seem like a smart idea. I don’t like the idea of a public chair behind us next to the column.

    • Paul Brennan on said:

      The table that was with the kiosk didn’t move when the kiosk moved and I hadn’t noticed that. It’s now sitting next to the kiosk where it ought to be. Thanks for the heads up!

  22. T. J. Troughton on said:

    I’ve noticed that it gets a little crowded by the Media 1 computer when people are lined up for the printer. More so when there is a line for the kiosk.

    • Kimberly Sain on said:

      Yep. Another reason to lock that computer when you step away–a few seconds away can quickly become a few minutes and anyone standing there waiting to print can see everything on the screen. There is very little privacy at Media 1.

  23. Lissa Staley on said:

    At the cafe gates station in the first hour this morning, I’ve had multiple comments about the food smells from the cafe, one neutral and four negative, and one crying hungry small child begging for food from a parent who was trying to get technology help from me at the back desk.

    Also – I don’t have access to the statistics sheets from the shared login computer. (No L drive access) – do we want paper stats here?

    And a question – is it ok for people to take the red scooter through the cafe exit (if they check out books first)? I think yes but wanted to double check.

  24. I could really use my own computer/space in Media at the moment. I’m trying to work with a student I’m proctoring and her exam requires more attention than usual. This isn’t always something we can predict, but trying to share a computer with another staff person who needs to look things up is frustrating both of us as well as the patrons who are waiting for our help

  25. Kyle Moreland on said:

    Can we get some insight from management on what’s being done or planned to ensure the increased standing time does not pose health issues for workers? This has been a concern amongst quite a few of us working the media center and I think there are many that have been afraid to bring it up as none of us want to indicate that we are not able to meet the new expectations of the space.

    While I realize that standing for a period of time is a reasonable expectation there are situations occurring already that are not reasonable. I and my ILL colleges routinely have days that we are scheduled 5.5 or 6.5 hours in Media. Some of those are weekends when it can be hard to schedule breaks due to short staffing. My evening shift on Tuesday I worked close to 6 hours in Media and two days later my body is still telling me about it. My public service colleges may not have the longer stretches that ILL does but they are certainly scheduled in Media and roving far more frequently so are seeing a very real increase in time spent standing.

    I also realize that the taking away of chairs was designed to keep us out and roving but it also sends the message that it is unacceptable to be sitting while you are working Media. When you have a 3.5 hour Media shift or multiple shifts there in a day your body simply needs to take periodic rests. I did this on the bench a few times on Tuesday but because of the perceived expectation I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be doing that.

    Personally, I feel like chairs or stools are a reasonable expectation in our work area so that we can periodically shift our body positions. I think most (if not all) of us that work media are able to grasp the concept that the new work mode in there is to be up and around helping people and I think we will do that better if there is an understanding that we also need to rest periodically and that it’s ok (and hopefully encouraged) by management to do so when we are in there for longer periods of time.

    I know my customer service will be better if I am able to do this and will certainly decrease if I’m not able to take care of myself while working this part of the job. The last few hours of my shift Tuesday were grueling as I was trying to stay friendly while my body was feeling very much the opposite. I know there are others who are looking at this problem with preexisting conditions that make this challenge even more difficult.

    Sorry for the lengthy post but thank you in advance for hearing this concern and giving us insight on what’s being done or planned to ensure we can all do this new model in a healthy manner.

    • Terry Miller on said:

      I agree with Kyle that we are able to grasp the concept of the new working model. Given that, it is reasonable to have a stool or chair at the computers to use when we are actually at the computer helping patrons. We know not to park ourselves at the computers, although, many times we are at the computer with a queue of patrons waiting for our help, so we do a lot of work at the computer even with the “roving” model. I think, as educated professionals, we should be given the benefit of the doubt that we will not sit out an entire shift in the Media Center if a chair or stool is at the computer.
      Speaking of computers, we need another staff computer in Media. It can be away from the service points and just tagged as “Staff Computer,” somewhere toward the front or middle of the room. In our current situation, sharing a computer is awkward and not serving our customers as we try to work on top of each other. Just an example: If one of us is logged in, the other cannot access SAM on their account. I think this would be an easy fix and improve the work flow to better serve our customers, who are frustrated as well.

    • michelle-morris on said:

      Thank you for sharing this Kyle. I’ve been trying to arrange similar thoughts in such a way that makes sense and is helpful, and you’ve done that.
      Also another thought, the Reference desk was removed and, for the most part this has worked fine. But I’m wondering if an important reason for this is because much of the work we did there was moved to a different desk? Faxing, scanning, copies, BGIB pickup, etc is now being done at the Red Carpet desk. The media desk has been removed, but all the same work is expected to be done within the same space without the resources we had previously.

    • Meredith Snepp on said:

      I’m really grateful Kyle was better able to express some of the thoughts that I’ve been trying to organize into something helpful. I agree that many of us haven’t spoken up for the concern that we will be viewed as not being willing or able to demonstrate the new service model. I’ve never been concerned about days where I’m only scheduled in Media, but as a person with some ongoing health issues, my body told me about it after working 4 hours in Media. I don’t plan on planting myself down in a chair (and even when we had chairs, I never felt like I was in it for my entire scheduled shift) but I feel like having the option to perch on a stool for a few minutes would really be helpful. I also know that tasks that I never gave a second thought to (running across the street, assisting someone at a computer, etc) are now having to take even longer. I have to find someone I’m working with, let them know what I’m doing/where I am, then go back and find my patron and assist them. If Circ or ILL have to go downstairs, that also means someone needs to keep an eye on the gates. So, if 3 of us are scheduled, I’ve run into the situation where: Person 1 has to run across the street to get an item (ILL/Circ person) so Person 2 from PS is keeping an eye on the gates computer while Person 3 is assisting a patron on the computer while Person 2 is trying to monitor the gates and the floor and field any questions that arise while Persons 1 and 3 are completing tasks. While not impossible, it feels like it’s taking more time to complete which is frustrating our patrons and our colleagues/selves. I know this is still flexing and somewhat fluid, but I’m curious if there are plans to adjust things around a bit?

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Kyle- thank you for your comment. I will work with staff and supervisors to look at ways to meet the goals of helping customers throughout the room and also providing opportunities for staff to have standing work and sitting work.

    • Miranda Ericsson on said:

      Bravo to Kyle for respectfully expressing what so many of us have been thinking over the last week. I know for sure from talking to many colleagues that the physical impact of hours on our feet is very real, and it’s not just those who have preexisting conditions, or those who are older. I agree with Kyle that many are hesitant to express concerns, because we do not want to come across as unwilling to work. Speaking for myself, it is very important to me that I meet our organization’s expectations, and that I give good customer service. Last week, I felt that 4 days in a row working in media affected my ability to do either as well as I wanted.

      I do believe that getting out from behind the big desk is a good thing, and the new model feels more energetic and customer focused to me. Working the room and being more aware of what is going on beyond the more limited line of sight we had from behind the desk is a big improvement. Customers are using the catalogs more, and asking for help to learn how to use them to find what they are looking for. So, there are definitely plenty of positives with the change. I agree with Kyle and Terry that we all understand the expectation to move around and work the space, and see the benefit in doing so. I also agree that having a stool at the podium for sitting breaks–in between helping customers and roving the room–would be a reasonable accommodation. No one is going to just sit there for long periods, because honestly those stools are not comfortable either, ha. But the ability to change body position and take stress of the feet and back for a bit could do a great deal to reduce the impact of hours on our feet. There is still much that we do for customers at that computer station, and there is no reason not to take the strain off of our bodies for a moment while we print guest passes, update customer accounts, locate an item that isn’t on the floor, etc. Michelle addressed this very well in her comment–that work has not gone away or been delegated to other areas. Many of our customers have been trained to go to media when they need to find a person, and that has not changed with the new model. It’s one of the busiest places in the library, and there is work that can be done just as well sitting as standing.

      I will also add that I would fully embrace a system that would rotate our ILL colleagues through the other customer service stations staffed by public services on the weekend, so that they are not enduring a grueling shift of over 6 hours standing and walking.

      Thanks in advance to our management for working with us to adapt to our new system in a way that best serves our staff and our customers.

  26. Kimberly Sain on said:

    Is at least one rover supposed to carry a phone? Before the Media change, staff working the Call Center (who have been instructed not to leave the Call Center during their shift) could call one of the 3 phones at Media to ask for a DVD to be pulled from the shelf. There is a list of service desk phones on the bulletin board in the Call Center I’m looking at, I called all of the numbers listed for help, no one answered any of my calls. I Sparked Carrie and she is helping me and said the phone at Media 1 is/was dead.

    • Kimberly Sain on said:

      Don’t know the answer to my question regarding roving with phones, however T.J. is updating the list of service desk phone numbers on the bulletin board in the Call Center. Thank you T.J.!

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Kim- yes there is a phone for each staff working the Media room. This way you can connect with each other if they are in another part of the library.

  27. Thanks Kyle. I agree that a little detail about plans and timelines could relieve a lot of anxiety, standing mats and a third computer even more.

    I think many of us would like to participate in this process in a constructive way, but without some understanding of the decision making process, we are left with nothing but our worries and our imaginations.

  28. Tanya Walsh on said:

    Hat tip to Kyle for beginning this much needed thread. I think we are all committed to providing the best possible customer service for our patrons. However, excessive amounts of standing and walking on concrete is not in anyone’s best interest. Study after study proves that this work model is detrimental to our backs, knees, feet, and necks. Several studies have also shown that pregnant women are more likely to spontaneously abort under these work conditions. These work stations are also not ergonomically designed for people of all heights and abilities. Several of us are vertically challenged and these anchor points are made for much taller people. Speaking only for myself, since the new service model has been launched, my neck and shoulder have not stopped hurting because I’m too short for the anchor point.

    I have no objection to being out and about to where the customer may be, but this “new service model” is not providing better service. Just one example is when I was at Media One earlier this week: someone needed help looking up a book on Polaris but the couldn’t because someone else was looking for all the necessary supplies and digging around in the anchor point. While they were waiting to use the computer, I also needed to use the computer to help my customer find a book. By this time, several other people had lined up for help. The line at the print station was bumping up against the line at the anchor point, and the person at the Cafe point was not there, so we couldn’t direct any customers for help there. I ended up using my own iPad (works much faster than the ones in the call center) to help my customer.

    I have zero objections to changes in how we work, but right now, I’m failing to see the logic in this new model. I’m hoping we can find a balance between providing the best possible customer service and maintaining the long term health of the people providing it. A staff in chronic physical pain cannot maintain high service standards.

  29. Hayley Swisher on said:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this yet, but is there any way to add some signage above the anchor points so patrons know where to go for help? That seemed to help when we had the anchor point in reference.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Hayley- We are working on signage for the service points that can wrap the desk. I will connect with Diana on the ETA for the signage.

      • Kimberly Sain on said:

        Information Desk signs and other ceiling signage were added this morning, 11/22. Are there still plans to wrap the desks with signage?

  30. Kimberly Sain on said:

    My observations include noticing congestion at the print station / Media 1/ kiosk area as others noted above. I’m wondering if this was discussed in the New Service Model 2.0 group when considering where to put the anchor points? I have no idea what requirements are necessary to set up a print release station with b/w and color printers, but since the counter where the catalog-only computers were previously is now empty and without chairs, could that be a new print release station area? If so, it may alleviate some of the congestion we’re experiencing at Media 1 during busy periods. Just a thought.

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Kim- these are good observations. We are taking all the comments into consideration as this layout remains pretty flexible so we can still make changes. We could look at different places for the print release station and even the shelving if we find we need to make changes.

      • Kimberly Sain on said:

        On second thought, moving the printers to the area I mention above could cause congestion in the room entry which would not be much improvement over existing conditions.

  31. Deborah Bryan on said:

    We also lost having “desk printer” with the new set up. So I have been printing to the Public’s black and white printer. Sometimes this means I have to wait on a print job (such as a visitor pass) because a patron is printing out a lengthy document ahead of me. Or they may get my print job mixed up with their documents (this has happened a couple of times, one resulted in a gentleman chasing down another patron so that he could get his guest pass).

  32. Thanks for responding, Marie.

    T.J. and I hope to have something up on the Public Services team page by Monday or Tuesday, so we can move this convo there.

    For the tall kids, the desks are too short. Ive been standing like a Tai Chi master… which, obviously, I am. I liked being able to adjust the height of the desk we had in reference.

    • Kimberly Sain on said:

      I’m surprised these aren’t adjustable as that was discussed in the new Service Model group when we discarded that reference desk and an adjustable anchor point was purchased–it seemed to work fine, albeit it was small with little usable countertop space. Adjustable barstools at the two existing Media stations would help for all the reasons previously mentioned here by others if these stations/anchor points can’t be altered to better serve staff who are obviously not all the same height. It’s another obstacle to overcome that seems unnecessary.

  33. Zan Popp on said:

    This might already have been covered, but are we planning to bring back another sitting catalog computer in Media? I had 2 patrons this afternoon during my 1 hour shift (at 2 during my shift last Saturday) ask about more sitting stations for the catalog.

    On the flip side, its kind of neat to watch patrons come in and start to search the catalog on their own.

  34. Jacob Ziegler on said:

    After spending a Sunday working the room I did have some observations.

    It can get very congested over by the printer quite quickly. We do occasionally see the line 3 or 4 people deep waiting to print and folks often don’t see anyone else past the catalog computers and just see the one point by the printers which will often have a line. I did hear from several people that they didn’t know where to go to ask for help if everyone is already helping someone. They didn’t know if they should wait at the service point or wander through the library trying to find someone.

    I have noticed an extreme uptick in use at the catalog computers. I love that people are trying to find their own items. It does appear they still need help on clicking the availability button as they often had to ask where an item was located. I think having the catalog computers the first thing you see in the room really helps out.

    The phones in media leave a lot to be desired. The one time I tried using the phone was to contact someone who had left for the bookmobile to see if they could grab another couple of items. I tried using the groundwire app on the phone at media 1, however it just kept giving me a long beep instead of ringing. I thought maybe something was off with the phone so I tried the other phone at the cafe station, it just gave me a general error message when trying to dial the dock (4594). I then tried my own personal cell but by that time, they had already returned from the bookmobile. I asked DS about this and it sounds like we won’t be able to call the bookmobile dock with them.

    It is a very long time to be on your feet during a weekend shift. I tried to split the day in half with my lunch break but it was still exhausting. Having to run the annex more than 10 times wasn’t helpful either.

    Yesterday was extremely busy at times and you can get somewhat surrounded by people needing help. Because their isn’t a central location to wait at anymore, people tended to follow me around while I was helping other customers. While helping someone at the catalog I was often stopped and asked for help doing something else. I would tell them it would be a moment and would quickly glance around to see if someone else was available to help. I often found that I was stopped mid trips between annex runs, or runs to other rooms to help someone with a problem at the kiosk, computer copier etc. Before I could tell them I was assisting someone else and to wait by the desk for assistance. Now I try to tell them to wait by the catalog computers and hopefully one of the other people in media will see them if they weren’t already assisting someone else. Because the stations are split up from each other and people are roving in different parts of the room, it can be hard to see if someones waiting to be helped.

    I felt I gave terrible customer service several times yesterday. Occasionally I would find myself the only person in the media room and people would have questions at the computers down the wings or would need help finding something over in travel etc. I couldn’t leave the room and would try to give my best directions on how to get to their item or a solution in person, they often would have a seat at the bench and just wait (it was pretty awkward knowing they needed help and I was pretty much just standing there waiting too). Several times I had people wait 10-15 mins before I could help them as my other coworkers were assisting other patrons in other parts of the library.

    The other complaint I heard yesterday was about not being able to find someone to help them. I couldn’t argue as I couldn’t find my coworkers sometime myself. My guess is they miss having a place to wait knowing for sure someone would return to that spot to answer their questions.

    Ideas:
    This new model makes it difficult to know how long one of your coworkers will be gone or where they are even located. It appears the location of the Media 1 station is in an odd location that is already a bit crowded. Would it be possible to move this station closer toward the gates computer? This way if someone was roving the cafe entrance/gates side, you could still hear customer questions and your coworkers response knowing where they were taking them and roughly how long they would be. You could also easily see if they had a line start forming or maybe people would see that their are other places to go in the room to ask questions and eliminate the line. I’m not sure where the data and outlets all are located in the room but if it was generally in the center where the 7 day express were located, that might be helpful and in close enough proximity where you could ask questions between the two stations.

    We have one catalog computer that I don’t think is ever used in the very back of the room where the dispenser was. Could we move that computer up to the front for another sit down catalog? If we could also take that table and see if it’s big enough for the print release station as well? It’s a bit taller and would be easier for our customers to print rather than being completely hunched over. If people in wheel chairs or other height issues were needing printing accommodations, I think the reference room print release station is still low enough as well as the kids print station.

    I’m still getting used to not being able to work on projects during slow times. For example, we had 6 customers working on the computers in the media room last night, most were regulars who typically don’t have questions. Between shelving/straightening and cleaning up the cleanup cart, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. I’ve noticed this on my weeknights as well. It can be mind-numbingly slow (we have 162 steps of shelving in the media room, I’ve counted).

    I’ve always liked the dream of having a station at the far back of the room by the windows. With the print station beside or nearby on a cabinet that contained all the various paper sizes for both the copiers and printers with the toner. You would have access and sight lines to the gates, and you would be available for customer questions but they would have to walk by every opportunity to help themselves more conveniently than just asking a staff person if they could look up something for them. The Make-It-Lab is nearby and we could monitor the noise levels more accurately and you may even be able to see somewhat inside to see if it is being used appropriately.

  35. Carrie Cummings on said:

    I was really worried about not being able to call the Bookmobile dock from Media since this is definitely something we try to do to be more efficient. So I tried calling the dock number just as a phone number, not as an internal call and it did work to do it the long way. I was able to get through by calling 9-580-4594 from the gates-cafe phone. I’ll check with DS to see if we can have the contact reprogrammed on the phones.

    • Kimberly Sain on said:

      Did anyone test the phones to see if they work for the purposes we use them before they were dropped off at the stations two weeks ago or are these new issues? This may explain why I couldn’t reach anyone while in the Call Center a few days ago. Thanks for sharing your discovery, Carrie.

  36. Carrie Cummings on said:

    Jared got back with me and said that 4594 should be working from those phones. I tested 4594 again and was able to get through to the dock this time. The ring doesn’t sound like a ring, more like a long beep, when waiting for them to answer and it could be misleading. So at the moment it looks like either number should work through the Groundwire app.

    • Kimberly Sain on said:

      Good to know. Is the long beep vs. a ring because 4594 is across the street/outside the building? Jacob’s 11/13 post mentions the same discovery and how confusing it was.

  37. Debbie Updegraff on said:

    I help on the YS desk a few hours a week, and even I have already noticed an increase in the number of adults coming into the area for assistance. Seemingly frustrated that they can’t find anyone to help them locate books or needing help to print, or one-on-one computer help. There’s always been people who come in needing help or to use a computer… short chairs aren’t even a clue 😉 … but this has really been noticeable to me. Even more so than when the reference desk was removed. Come summer this could be very challenging for staff.