Have you been to a library recently? Did the library staff seem eager to fulfill your information needs? My answers are yes and no respectively. I am currently pursuing a degree in library studies, from the first day of classes I was taught that a librarians job involves being customer or patron oriented. My experience with library staff in recent times have blatantly shown their disregard for their job and lack of professionalism.

This opinion is not intended to offend all library staff but rather those who are guilty of ignoring patrons, displaying facial expressions of  disgust, becoming annoyed when asked questions and unwilling to allocate resources because of the onset of the online public access catalog (OPAC). The list can go on. I have recently been to an academic library- which will remain anonymous- where I approached the circulation desk, requested some attention from the librarian and was ignored for a period of nine minutes twenty two seconds as she was in an intense conversation with another member of staff about what they were having for lunch. I stood there checking the time and asking myself if I was invisible. After her conversation she stood there and watched me until I asked for the material that I came for.Judging from the feedback that I have gotten from fellow library users, it is safe to say that practices and behaviors of these sort is a regular occurrence at the institution.

Trivial matters such as these leads to even greater issues for the library community as we know it. Patrons are left feeling intimidated and  discouraged from using library facilities and have no problem resorting to “good ole google” to  attain information or misinformation in some cases. Library staff need to recognize how important their role as information professionals are, how it affects the lives of others and by extension the society in which they serve. It is important to note that as a library staff you do not only represent your governing body, but  also your community,you  impact society and are representatives of budding professionals like myself. The library is no place to display  attitudes of hostility and unwillingness.

 

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