The 10-Minute International Librarian #80: Make a contact count

Librarianship is all about helping people to achieve their goals through meaningful access to information and knowledge.

It of course includes a wide range of roles, from the front desk or out among the stacks, to the conservation lab or the cataloguing room.

Nonetheless, in each case, it is through meeting people – in person on online, through direct conversation or through a user’s interaction with a service provided – that access is provided and supported.

Clearly, different members of the field will therefore be in contact with a greater or smaller number of users, in person or online, and they will interact in different ways.

The common thread, though, is the importance of ensuring that interactions are effective, and provide the support the user needs.

So for our 80th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, make a contact count.

Think about how you approach a contact with someone (or design a service with which someone will interact). Is it having the effect you want on the user?

Is there anything that might be holding you – or them – back?

Are there alternative approaches that you could use, both in terms of what you are saying (or doing) and how?

Don’t forget that a satisfied user is also potentially an advocate for your services!

Let us know about how you have managed to make a contact count in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 2.3: Develop standards, guidelines, and other materials that foster best professional practice

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the com