Tip of the Week - #083 (Dealing with Patron Problems)

Keywords: fines, billing, policies, complaints

I don't mind talking to patrons about their PCIRC problems but there is little I can do to help them.  I normally refer them right back to their home library PCIRC contact (which is usually the person that referred them to me in the first place).  This leaves the patron feeling frustrated and basically an unhappy camper.

What I can do is repeat policies and explain why they exist.  What I can't do is change anything about their situation.  I do not have access to their local patron record and I will not be a go between when negotiating fines and bills.  That responsibility belongs to the patron's home library.   [Suggestion from Susan Wehmeyer:  when explaining OhioLINK policies, let the patron know that the members of OhioLINK jointly approved and agreed to abide by these procedures, there is no external OhioLINK management team that imposed the rules from above.]

Though we encourage adherence to OhioLINK policies, they are not locked in stone and local managers do have the right to negotiate with patrons as necessary to achieve whatever nirvana that can be achieved.

So, referring them to me will get them off of your back temporarily, but I will send them right back to resolve their problem.  And yes, I make that very clear with the user that I am not the one who can solve their problem.  Sometimes they believe me.

Thank you and good night.