Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Terrible Service" at the Park Slope Library?

We always find tales of "customer service" interesting, so we were drawn to this item posted on the Park Slope Forum at Brooklynian asking if other people have had "terrible service" at the Park Slope Branch Library. The short answer is that some don't like it and some say that the staff is helpful. Here's the original comment:
It seems that every time I am at the Park Slope branch library (usually Saturdays) I get terrible service from the check out and returns staff. The clerks at the desk are always deep in conversation with each other, and I have to wait for them to finish the latest neighborhood gossip before they acknowledge my existence. More often than not, they will physically have their backs turned! I went last Tuesday night to pick up a hold book, and the woman didn't even look me in the eye. I have such a great experience with my NYC library near work being friendly, but my Brooklyn home library makes me feel like I am interrupting them in the middle of something very important. I tend to get my reserved books from Brooklyn faster than NYC, but is it worth it? Am I just being overly-sensitive or are they that way with everyone else? (Hearing that they are just plain rude to others might actually make me feel a little better!)
One person agreed, saying, "I have had similar experiences. When I go there they often have teenage girls at the counter that couldn’t care less. Last time I told one of them to try harder, she looked at me like I was nuts." Another, however, said "I haven't had any problems...I've actually had discussions with them about books." Yet, another suggested buying the books at Barnes & Noble. So, the answers seem to be coming down all over the place.

[Photo courtesy of Paula Jenkins/Picassa]



Blogger Nicola Monat-Jacobs said...

My favorite incident was when I went to the Librarian (not the check out desk, but the actual individual who sits at a desk that says "Librarian" on it) and asked about the Da Vinci Code. He had never heard of it. It had only been a NY Times Bestseller for like 2 years. Otherwise all my experience have been great - I only bemoan the lack of actual books!

7:20 PM  
Blogger The Phantom said...

Lack of current books a problem here at the Bay Ridge branch too.

But our librarians are sweethearts!

10:20 PM  
Blogger The Phantom said...


If you've not already done so, get registered on the Brooklyn Public Libary web site and figure out how to search for and reserve books throughout the Brooklyn system.

If you know what you want, you can ask them to get it for you. They will deliver it to the branch you select, and send you an e-mail when it arrives.

I have just started doing this, and it is the best.

Happy hunting.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, tut, tut those disrespectful public servants! FYI - DaVinci code must be in the dollar bin at Strand by now - after all, it's been on the NYT bestseller list for like, 2 years.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the five of us that go in our family we have never had a good experience, a smile, a nod of the head... no one seems happy that works there but no one has been rude.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Write to the head of the Brooklyn Public Library. She came up through the BPL system from the bottom and knows her stuff. She would probably be very interested to hear your specific concerns about the branch...

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those teen clerks can probably parlay their lack of customer service skills into a job with the MTA! Keep up the good work and reach for the stars!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure 1:33 is correct. While she came up through the BPL system, it would seem she wants to turn our libraries into community centers and to decrease their focus on books. It was also disturbing that she considered quiet in the library to be an anachronism.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to say that the teenagers shouldn't be behind the desk and should always have an adult or full-time staff member with them at all times. The teens are hired to put the books back on the shelf, so when they're on the desk that means the full-time staff isn't doing their job.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

it doesn't justify poor service, but just so you know, brooklyn public library pays very poorly. considering how expensive it is to live in brooklyn, the librarians with masters degrees can barely live paycheck to paycheck. support your library bonds!

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he never heard of the davinci code?!?!

are you trying somehow to prove that your the mindless idiot or the individual behind the sign that said librarian is?

5:59 PM  

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