The future of your library: Abandon the service desk!

FE Technologies is enabling library staff to be more mobile and focused on driving customer-first experiences.

Learn more about the journey or download the case study below.

Is your library ready to abandon the service desk?

As consumer expectations change in the digital age libraries need to look at more customercentric operational models.

As successful businesses focus on delivering better experiences to their customers, libraries too need to consider how they can put more emphasis on their patrons’ experience. One approach is the no-service desk library.

What would the no-service desk library look like?

The most customer-focused retailers see a growing trend to ensure their customers’ store experience is positive and memorable. The largest and most recognized retailers ensure that at each touchpoint within the customer’s journey is guided by store employees are providing assistance to appeal to their emotional triggers.

The goals of the no-service desk library are similar — to create a welcoming environment where the customer feels able to communicate with library staff and make the most of the library’s services. Staff would position themselves in a more open and approachable fashion, without the barrier of a desk between themselves and the customer. This could be replaced by a less restrictive, open plan style set up where librarians could even still be stationed at a desk, but a desk that allows them to get up and speak with customers easily.

How would patrons seek help?

As usual, there would still be library staff roaming in other parts of the library available to answer any questions customers may have — there just might be one or two more of them. One of the advantages of the no-service desk approach is the possibilities of incorporating helpful technology to improve the experiences of library patrons. For example, a live scanning wand can be used to fix real-time problems. Roving librarians remove any need to return to a service.

More self-loan and return stations could also be installed — perhaps using the space where the service desk used to be! A word of warning though, without a bricks and mortar service desk, you’ll want to be prepared if your network somehow goes down. This is where self-loan stations with equally functional online and offline capabilities become super useful.

What does all this mean for staff that would normally be on the service desk?

Staff will always be a critical part of the library’s infrastructure. The greatest change is the ability for staff to have access to library requests from their cell phone. The notifications system will alert staff to promptly respond to customer needs efficiently and effectively. This creates greater connectivity between staff and customers ensuring a positive library experience that enriches and empower community programs.

The RFID technologies that enable no-service desk libraries empower librarians and library managers to adopt a new methodology without sacrificing traditional services.

If you are refurbishing your library and want to create more modern, flexible spaces for your patrons, without having to sacrifice systems, processes and security, talk to us.

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