Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations with Library Visitors
More people are showing up at libraries AOA, meaning Angry on Arrival. Maybe they didn't want to wait in line to talk with a reference librarian during finals. Maybe they are ticked off because the event–which they did not buy tickets for–was sold out, and they were turned away at the door. Maybe they don't like your books, your programming, your services, or the art on the wall.
Maybe they don't like policies related to the pandemic, ones you have no control over. Maybe they have a cause or political position and won't be happy until the library leadership accepts all of their terms, unconditionally. Maybe they don't want to lower their voice, take their support peacock outside, stop yelling at other customers, stop cutting up magazines, stop hogging a terminal after timeout, or rein in their rampant young folks.
Starting with the assumption that most people are good people doing the best they know how. Topics include doing your homework (do you have the facts?), tweaking policies, improving your responses, how the library's physical environment can be a help or hindrance, and where to draw the line, plus some ways to de-escalate and lower the drama quotient.
Following this webinar, you will know how to:
- Better maintain a positive "performance state" regardless of the other person's behavior.
- Have more strategies and tactics to bring to your encounters with library visitors who are not having a good day.
- Help create the environment in your library that lowers drama and supports positive staff and visitor interactions.
Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with over 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, nonprofits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.