Recently I had the opportunity to visit an out-of-town library on a busy Saturday morning. The support staff were helpful and friendly, and appeared to know many of the customers by name. The Saturday morning level of service seemed impressive; however, there was a dark side:
This library was DIRTY.
- The stacks were dusty to the point of being able to actually write your name in the dust.
- The carpets were embarrassingly stained throughout, and dramatically worn.
- The walls and doors needed fresh paint desperately.
- The windows were painfully dirty, and the ceiling was water-stained.
- The strategically placed plants were living, but not cared for or manicured.
- Wheel chair access between stacks was impossible.
- The newspaper collection was practically thrown on shelves, and severely yellowed from the sun.
Perhaps the ultimate crime of this library was in the cluttered, unorganized, unsightly circulation desk, reference desk and private offices of the staff members, and the inexcusable disheveled appearance of three of the four library workers.
What a crime.
Here was a library that appeared to excel at public relations and customer service with an evident relationship between staff and customers; but the library was distractedly dirty!
Could this be your crime also?
It doesn't have to be that way. A small rural library with a limited staff--or even a solo librarian--can still take care of the housekeeping. There are easy solutions that won't break the bank or wear out the staff.
That's what Housekeeping Tricks of the Trade is about: to help so your library won't be dirty!
See Part One under the Housekeeping keywords and content labels. More to come on this subject . . .