Customer Service and the Future of Libraries

Libraries are going through what may be the most difficult period in their history. The great recession has been taking a toll on library budgets at exactly the time when libraries must be at their sharpest and smartest to deal with changing customer demands. Libraries must remain vitally important to the communities they serve. E-books and other digital media pose real dangers to libraries unless staff can overcome the many obstacles and fully integrate them the library program.

This workshop will help participants:
•Take a fresh look at the ways your customers use the library.
•See the library building through the eyes of an outsider.
•Prepare for the rocky road into the future with less money and more strategic thinking.
•Rethink priorities. What will help the library survive and thrive? What can be swept under the carpet?
•Bring more people into the library and transform them into strong library supporters.
•Market the library to a generation who log on rather than walk in.

Jeannette Woodward is a principal of Wind River Library and Nonprofit Consulting. After a career in academic library administration, most recently as Assistant Director of the David Adamany Library at Wayne State University, she began a second career in public libraries as the Director of the Fremont County Library System in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.

Woodward is the author of several books including “The Transformed Library,” “A Librarian’s Guide to an Uncertain Job Market,” Countdown to a New Library, 2nd Edition” (ALA 2010), “The Customer-Driven Academic Library” (ALA, 2008), “What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy” (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), “Creating the Customer Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model” (ALA, 2005), “Nonprofit Essentials: Managing Technology (Wiley, 2006), and “Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project” (ALA, 2000)

Woodward is also the author of “Writing Research Papers: Investigating Resources in Cyberspace”(McGraw Hill, 1999) and “Finding a Job after 50: Reinvent Yourself for the 21st Century” (Career Press, 2007). She holds a masters degree in library and information science from Rutgers University with doctoral study at the University of Texas at Austin.

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