Serving the needs of all patrons
I think that everyone would agree that libraries are here to serve all their patrons. Over the past few weeks, my library has seen an unusual increase in the number of public patrons who come to use the internet on our public workstations. Now that second semester is in full swing, there have been moments when there are not workstations for students who came to the library to do research. The problem was identified by all of our staff members and we set out to discuss what actions should be taken during several staff meetings. I felt that this was one policy discussion that library school prepared me well to debate. When in graduate school, we talked about the pros and cons of similar situations and possible actions and repercussions. I applied the same discussions I had with other students in classes to our staff meetings. Since we are a federal depository library, and therefore open to the public for use of government information, we did not to ask public patrons to refrain from visiting, but have asked them to use the library’s computers for research purposes during high traffic times of student use. So far, the action has worked and we have struck a balance between the two groups needs. Public patrons who came to game or surf the internet are willing to transfer to another computer so students can use the ones located near the reference desk. I know that similar situations happen in libraries all over. I am curious to see how others libraries have acted in like situations; please feel free to share your comments.