New Service Model


The New Service Model team has been meeting since January 2015 to work through how we, as a library, shift from a very staff mediated service model to a more self-service model without sacrificing customer service.  This team’s first order of business was to look at the reference space and figure out how we would work without a traditional reference desk.

Staff will be roving, or working the space, including the wings, helping customers where they are.  We will be initiating customer interactions more and not waiting for customers to come to us.  We know we have customers that have no problem coming to a desk and asking us questions but we also know we have many customers that will never come to the desk even if they do have a question.

Why should you care about this?

  • Although it may seem like this just affects the public services staff we know that customers don’t really care what department you work in or what your title is…you work here and they need help.
  • There are many services that are moving and/or changing as well as some services that are being discontinued. It is imperative that we all know what these are so when we are asked on the floor, on the phone or out of the building we have the right information.
We’re moving toward having all items that need to be picked up for various reasons being held at the front of the building – either in Red Carpet or at the Customer Service Desk. We’re also moving several services to these areas. The eventual goal is to create a business center. The goal is to make things more convenient for customers who are just there to pick this bag up, make that copy, send this fax etc.…


  • BOOK GROUPS – Several library sponsored book groups will move from the Reference Desk.

NOTE: Guys Read books will stay at the Kid’s Library Desk and TALK about Literature in Kansas (Kansas
Humanities Council) books will continue to be picked up in the Topeka Room. The groups that are
moving are:

  1. Bean There, Read That
  2. So Many Books, So Little Time
  3. Book, Book, Goose
  • BOOK GROUP IN A BAG (BGIB) – Customers will now be able to pick up/drop off BGIB without having to walk all the way back to the Reference Desk.
  • NOOK CHECKOUT – This moved from Reference several months ago and the process has gone well.
  • COPIER – A copier will be placed in the old adaptive computer area in Red Carpet as part of the
    new business center. Customers will be able to come in and make copies without having to go to the
  • SCANNER — There are times when the scanner takes some instruction and having a staff person
    close may be beneficial. The hope is to have simple instructions where this isn’t the case. There
    is also a scanner in the Topeka Room.
  • FAXING SERVICE — We’re planning to put a free, standalone, self-service fax machine in the old adaptive computer area. With Dillon’s no longer faxing, we no longer feel that we need to charge. It won’t be attached to SAM so there will no longer be a need for a library card to send a fax.


  • CUSTOMER PICKUP BOX — The customer pickup box moved to the Customer Service Desk several months ago. The pick-up box is the location for prints from the 3-D printer, items that have been printed out during a reference call, prizes, and anything else a customer might need to pick up that cannot be placed on hold. All items will be labeled.

NUMBER 1 – Why are we doing this?

We want to be out on the floor where our customers are so we can answer their questions where they need the answers.

NUMBER 2 – We will be streamlining some systems so customers are able to navigate their library independently but we will be available to those who need the help.

NUMBER 3 – What do we need from you?

  • Support – this change is big and there will be times when your colleagues may be stressed and frustrated. Remember to be supportive, listen and help when you can.
  • Positivity – attitude goes a long way. If you’re positive, customers will be more likely to be positive.
  • Willingness to try – there will be new ways to help customers and we all need to be willing to try and learn with them.
  • Feedback – for better or worse feedback is important. All I ask is if you have a criticism please come with a solution or alternative. This makes problem solving the issue easier for everyone if we have a starting point.  Be thoughtful.

Above all else let’s remember to be kind to one another as well as our customers!

Diana and her team are working on a communication plan.  We all know people don’t always read signs or listen the first time they are told something.  There will be a lot of repeating yourself.  As long as we are consistent we should be fine.