Do You Hear What I Hear?
December 5, 2008 Leave a comment
Reading a post at The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian’s Blog well actually watching the video got me thinking. I loved David Lankes’s idea that what is at the core of libraries is conversation. All the books, cds, dvds, databases, etc. can help with that conversation but it really boils down to a conversation. Please say this means the days of “SHH!” are gone.
Conversation is important but it has 2 key components – talking and listening. I’d say most people don’t truly listen actively but instead are busy trying to form a response. If we learned to listen better would our conversations and interactions with our customers/patrons/clients/users get better? Would we in turn give better customer service? Are we teaching active communication (talking and listening) in our library schools? Some might point to the reference interview. I have yet to witness a true proper reference interview (or customer service interview) be conducted. Are we really listening?
For some this might scare them as we’ve all experienced the lonely retiree or awkward teen who just latches on and doesn’t let go. I’m not saying to let these people cross boundaries but I am encouraging real, true conversations/give-and-take to happen in our libraries. What learning moments for ourselves as well as our customers might happen if we did? I’m sure a shift like this won’t happen overnight but I’d love to see this happen and see the change it could have on people.