Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The downtown public library where I am employed has unveiled a new point of service in the building. Just inside the front entrance is a small, curved countertop with a high-seated chair and a sign suspended overhead saying, "Just Ask Me". The idea is to answer people's questions right away or direct them to another desk as needed. The Just Ask Me - or "JAM" - desk is occupied by professional and paraprofessional staff who are assigned to cover an hour at a time.

I put in an hour on the first day of this new venture yesterday and it was pleasant duty. I answered a few questions but the biggest part of the job was the exchange of greetings with persons entering the building. This new desk creates a useful first impression, I hope. I didn't mind smiling and saying a few words to each person for an hour, though it would get to me if I had to do it all day.

First-time visitors would get the most out of this service, I imagine. At our location we get a lot of out-of-towners, and they need orientation. The regulars know where they're going.

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