When I approached the librarian at the desk to ask about getting in the local history room she looked at me as if I were asking for the date the world was ending. She seemed surprised that I even wanted in the room. She offered no assistance.
When I got into the room I had been told on the phone that the newspapers were in the room with the rest of the local history, they were not. They were in fact in the middle of the library, right in the middle of all the internet computers. Screaming babies, teenagers with ipods so loud they didn't need ear buds to listen, some images on computer screens I'd rather not have seen. Not a good thing!
We were told they had an obituary index. What they referred to as an obituary index was in fact many years of obituaries all in
I had about four hours to do the things I wanted to do, spending 2 hours of it rearranging their obituary folders wasn't on the list.
I think the saddest part of the visit was the log book. This book was in the room, supposedly so that visitors could log in when they visited, who they were researching and perhaps leave contact information. Its obvious from looking at the book that no one ever checks up on the room. The book had letters very obviously written by teens on some pages, one page had a note asking advice on how to hook up with a girl in his class at school. There were scribbles, half torn pages... really disappointing.
Its a good thing they have such a great newspaper collection, otherwise I doubt I'd make the effort to return there. In this day and age a bit of effort from the library staff would have been most helpful. Doesn't appear they have time. Wonder how much time they will have when they get replaced with a computer that least asks "How can I help you?"
Customer service isn't rocket science. When a person stops by to ask about access to a part of a library it would seem to me that is a clue they aren't local patrons. Taking a few minutes to offer assistance, directions, or field questions would make a world difference. With libaries suffering financially it would seem to me that stepping up the customer service end of the deal might just help make people want to come back. What a concept... people using libraries.
Off the soapbox and back to my genealogy.