Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Libraries' Resources for Self-improvement

The hurried pace of fall and spring semesters has been replaced by the slower Southern drawl of summer in Bracken Library. The pulsating rhythm of conversation and study groups has been reduced to a hushed stillness as students in particular focus on their research needs while finding refuge from the heat outside. The decreased demand for services poses the question: how will you spend your summer?

There are many answers to this question, one of which is to spend your summer learning to love your work and working to learn to expand your skills and opportunities.

Whether you are a recent graduate hoping to make a positive impression as you enter the workforce, or an experienced professional hoping to reignite that spark, Bracken Library has the resources to meet your needs. The key to any successful training is to identify your needs, commit to a plan of action, and to implement what you have learned. And if you are not sure where to start, three good target zones for any level of experience are

- Establishing and strengthening positive relationships with your colleagues
- Embracing changes in technology
- Amplifying customer service skills

Bracken Library’s Educational Resources Center (ERC) circulates a wide variety of DVD/VHS selections to help you perfect your performance. These can be watched on any of the 40 computers in the ERC, or you can take advantage of the ERC’s viewing booths to check out an inspirational video when you have some “down time.” Some great selections to watch are

- The Lily Tomlin Customer Service Training Series, (DVD 1483, Discs 1-4). These programs humorously provide valuable reminders about treating customers as you would like to be treated.
- Developing Positive Listening Skills, (DVD 1544). This program provides useful tips to employ in every aspect of life, focusing on the art of listening as integral to excellent customer service.
- How to Become a Rainmaker is a book, HF5438.4 F69 2000. It helps the reader to understand and learn several strategies for a successful business, including customer service.

Customer service is more than only serving those for whom we work. It also includes serving those with whom we work. There are some interesting and useful programs that help us utilize the skills we learn in our work area so we can foster a more positive environment for everyone. Some of these are

- Attitude: A Little Thing Makes a Big Difference, VHS 18184, offers examples and techniques to help you motivate yourself and those around you.
- Dealing with Employee Discipline Problems, video series 18186-18188, provides insight about employee burnout, how to maintain motivation, and how to delegate work fairly.
- Conflict: The Rules of Engagement, VHS 18183, address how to turn conflict into opportunities for cohesive relationships.


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