Thursday, January 15, 2009

January Update

It almost feels like spring, and that's a scary thought at this time of year (but not unusual - I remember bulbs popping up in January and thinking it was much too early, but they couldn't be stopped!). MSU is back in session, and more foreign students have arrived. Spring will come eventually.

This morning the City offered a session on communication and dealing with problem customers (patrons, to us library-folk). We first we divided up into groups, based on various adjectives (printed on different colored cards - I ended up with a totally red collection, but there were blue, green and yellow too). It was interesting - the Red group was predominately female, the Blue group had police and firemen; Red was the "touchy-feely" group, Blue was the no-nonsense, practical kind. I'm curious about how other library staff ended up - it would be nice to do something similar with all the staff, because I can see how these characteristics influence our interactions.

The end of the session talked about problems - how to diffuse situations so everyone leaves feeling like their goal was met, rather than one person "winning" and the other backing down. The first step? Keep calm! That's always difficult, but essential, and I've gotten better at it with practice. Realizing it's not personal helps, too.

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