All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Linking Our Libraries Podcast: Episode 210 Customer Service

Customer service photo

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Contents of our information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • The Basics
  • A Few Stories from the Front Lines!
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

This week we are talking customer service in your library: the good, the bad! Patrons, customers, or whatever you call those people who use your services, are the heart of it all – the reason our jobs exist. At our very foundation, we only exist in our jobs to serve these people. Some of them will absolutely be the best part of your job; they will make you happy to come to work, they will fill you with that positive glow of happiness in doing a good job, and will general be a delight! There may even be homemade snacks involved!

Other patrons will make you question your job, your reason for being in a library, and your very will to get out of bed in the mornings! When, not if, that happens to you, try to focus on taking a deep breath and remembering that this too shall pass. Go back and listen to our episode #206 on Conflict Management, and look through our material on handling stress in the workplace.

But don’t let the few lousy patrons be too big a part of your job! Actively keep your perspective focused on the great things you are doing to build community, and to enjoy the customer service aspects of your job! We are not going to overlook the tough parts of this skill, but we do not want to dwell on it and overshadow the good stuff too. So sit back, relax, and let’s talk about some good customer service procedures you can implement in your organization to make things flow better. And we will share a few stores from the real-life side of working with patrons all day!


Next Week:  we talk about technology training in your library, with Guest Host Angie Kaltoff!

Linking to Library News!

 Linking Number 2There is a whole world of news happening across the profession. Below are a few links to get you started with some of the exciting things happening in the world of Library Science!


CMLE Resources: Library Visits

CMLE is here for you with all kinds of resources and information. Each week we will share a look at another piece of that information, to help draw some attention to resources that may help you as you serve your community.

Interior view of Stockholm Public LibraryWe love to visit our member libraries! Our whole purpose is to help to connect and communicate across our system of 300+ libraries of all types, and to share information. Going out to visit our members is one of the best ways we have to find out all the great things you are doing, and to work on new strategies to figure out what we can do to help you in the work you are doing.

And okay, yes: it is really one of the most fun parts of our jobs!

We are not the only ones who like to hear about everything in your library – all your colleagues across CMLE want to know what you are doing too! This is part of forming more connections between our members: getting to see what is going on in other libraries helps you to get some ideas to try in your own location.

Have we been to your library lately?? You know we want to come visit – so send us an email at to let us know what library you are in and give us a couple of dates we can come visit you!

CMLE Reads Across MN: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!

At CMLE HQ there are certain inalienable truths that we hold dear. One of them is that we love books. The other one is that we are big fans of baked goods! So discovering this series was a great thing. Cookies, cozy mysteries – great stuff!! Fortunately for all of us who like cozy mysteries, baked goods, and fun reading – there are 21 books out so far, with #22 scheduled for publication next year.  Feel free to try out the many recipes in these books. And, of course, if you want to drop off some results at CMLE HQ – we are very open to that!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery, Book #1) “No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes–one delicious clue at a time–has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this new edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds. . .

Hannah already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.”

Quick Google map note: These books are set in the fictional location of Lake Eden, MN. As with our other fictional locations, we are locating them in a reasonable real place. In this case, we are mapping them in Joanne Fluke’s hometown of Swanville, MN.

Do you have other Minnesota books you can recommend? Send in your book and some discussion about it, and we will add it into a future weekly recommendation series!

Spotlight Program: How to Have a Haunted Halloween

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

Halloween is approaching, and we are going to look at some holiday programs you may want to try in your library.

How to Have a Haunted Halloween