Saying Yes

Abby the Librarian has a wonderful post about the importance of giving library users a positive experience when they use the library.  Saying yes is soooo much more fun than saying no.

Sometimes it is just finding a way of saying things that accentuates the positive rather than the negative. For instance:

New Library Card Check-out Limit on Materials
Negative: We know you are going to steal us blind so we only want to lose these 3 items.
Positive: Just for this first check-out, while we process your info, we ask you to just check out three items.

Parents Insisting Kids Attend Program They Are Too Young For
Negative: We have strict age limits and no one is allowed in unless they meet our age requirements
Positive: Kids need reading skills for this particular event.  We also have this and this event perfect for your younger child. And if you want to drop by and observe, come on in! If your child gets bored or fussy though, you can take a break out in the hallway.

Too Loud in the Area
Negative:  Be quuuuuiiiiiieeettt!!!!!!!!!!!!
Positive: I'm going to ask you to quiet down a bit - I can't hear the questions. And that's what I do best- find answers.

What other ways can negative be spun into positive gold?

Image: 'it's in your hands' http://www.flickr.com/photos/40892749@N03/4657652249


  1. I think it was our adult services librarian who picked this up somewhere but...instead of saying "YOU have x amount of fines" we are now starting to say "oh, there's a fine of x on your card" sort of along the lines of "my, I don't know how that got there". It actually does defuse a certain number of patrons. Of course, then there's the ones that call you a bloodsucker (I still haven't gotten over that)

  2. When someone asked for something from the library and I have nothing to offer..."Thank you for suggesting that, that will be a good addition to our collection." If I'm being asked of some homework-related stuff, I'd say "I don't know the answer but I'll find out for you." If a parent is asking for additional number of books to be checked-out, I'd say "I'll present your recommendation to the body and we'll give it as huge consideration."

    Is it alright if I add a link of your blog into mine?

    Many thanks:)

  3. Thanks formyour comments..and Alynn, go ahead and link!