Familiarity breeds contempt

I was at a meeting in the city today, walking up the Paris end of Collins Street back to catch my train, when I realised my whole viewpoint of that area had changed. I used to be reticent about having to be in that area, as I didn’t know it. However, after having had to venture there on a regular basis, I found I wasn’t even thinking about it anymore, I just did it.

So I got to thinking about how we keep doing things that we have been doing for a while in our libraries, because that’s what we do, without necessarily thinking about whether its appropriate to do so anymore.Β  We get so set in our ways, that we don’t always think about whether our ways could be improved by changing, tweaking or removing all together.

So imagine my amazement, when I got back to work later in the afternoon and whilst talking about various things to some of my colleagues, I asked if there was a better way of dealing with a process we have in place ( the query triggered by a comment in passing from a library user) – which is currently putting blocks in the way of our users accessing our self-help services (such as self-check, renewals, holds etc) and one of my wise colleagues suggested we get rid of it altogether!

I was delighted! The suggestion was well received by other staff we polled, but it will have to go to the managers for consideration and approval, because its quite possible there are implications we haven’t thought of.

Which makes me wonder and will probably get me to looking a bit more closely, about what other things we are doing, which we may not have to do anymore. I will deliberately try to look at things through our library users’ eyes and maybe query our new library staff about their other library experiences more closely to discover what they are (and there will be more, I’m sure).

Have you had these moments of revelation? What happened?Β  Love to hear your stories, as they might give me some inspiration and direction. πŸ™‚