Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dealing With Patron Interruptions

I found this helpful article Law Librarians' Self-Help Guide: Dealing with Patron Interruptions in the May/June 2010 issue of legal publisher West's newsletter Law Librarians in the New Millennium.
"When you work in a law library, other people's emergencies can quickly become yours. The ability to drop what you're doing, help a person in need, and return to your activity is paramount in our profession. I originally put these tips together as sort of a personal pep talk when my plate was full and I felt like each patron interruption was pushing it over the edges. The following tips might help you deal with frequent interruptions by patrons, too."
Tips include:
  • Smile
  • Breathe
  • Pause and repeat the patron's needs
  • Use some type of intake form
  • Practice patience
  • Turn off your e-mail notifications and handheld devices
  • Write yourself a quick note
  • Give yourself permission to prioritize
  • Seek balance
  • Alter your perspective: "It is sometimes easy to become irritated and frustrated with frequent interruptions. If you view each interruption as an annoyance detrimental to your immediate productivity and overall work performance, then it will be. Instead, try to view each interruption as an opportunity to perhaps learn something new or potentially help someone. By altering your perspective to focus on the positive outcomes of each interruption, both short- and long-term, you can lower your stress levels and provide a better experience and environment for everyone involved."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:55 pm

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