Thursday, May 05, 2005

The customer isn't always right?!

This article from Retailer News called, "The Customer Is Always Right... and Other Myths" points out some false beliefs that can hinder our service to patrons. While this article is about the retail environment, much of the advice rang true for me as I think about marketing libraries. I especially think it is important that we don't just give patrons what they want, but rather we need to think creatively about how to solve patrons' problems in ways that they could not imagine.

An outstanding reference librarian I know once told me, "The patron is always wrong." Of course, he did not say this to demean patrons in any way, but his point was that as reference librarians, we need to dig through the surface of reference transactions to ascertain the real need. I know I've often been in situations where I kind of thought I knew what I needed, but I didn't really know what else was out there that might be an even better choice. This Retailer News article does a good job of demonstrating just these kinds of points with illustrative anecdotes that can help guide our marketing efforts.

Do any of you have any library marketing myths you'd like to bust?

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