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Customer Service in Academic Libraries - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843347583, 9781780634395

Customer Service in Academic Libraries

1st Edition

Tales from the Front Line

Author: Stephen Mossop
eBook ISBN: 9781780634395
Paperback ISBN: 9781843347583
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 6th October 2015
Page Count: 152
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Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • List of Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • About the Editor
  • About the Contributors
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. “Customer Service”—What’s the Big Deal?
    • Abstract
    • What’s in a Name?
    • Thinking Like a Customer
    • Mapping Your Customer’s Experience
    • Customer Service Standards
    • Building Customer Relationships
  • Chapter 2. Staffing the Front Line
    • Abstract
    • Recruiting, Developing, and Rewarding Staff
    • Listen and Learn
  • Chapter 3. Marshalling a Century of Experience: Customizing Services for the Next Generation of Users
    • Abstract
    • An Institution Amidst Rapid Changes
    • Historical and Emerging Roles of the Libraries
    • Holistic Approach to Building a Service Culture
    • Knowing the Users and Striving for Continuous Quality Assurance
    • Nurturing a Customer-Centered Team
    • Strategic Application of User and Staff Surveys
    • Next Goal—All-Dimensional Experience
  • Chapter 4. Customer Service in a 24/7 Environment: The Exeter Experience
    • Abstract
    • Background
    • Why Rove?
    • Initial Training and Mobilization
    • Maintaining a Roving Culture
    • Roving and Communication
    • Recognition and Feedback
    • Ongoing Challenges and Developments
  • Chapter 5. Customer Service at Victoria University, St. Albans Campus Library
    • Abstract
    • Customer Service: What Does it Mean to Me?
    • Organizational Structure
    • VU Focus on Customer Service, Drivers, Etc.
    • Library Structure
    • Our Libraries
    • Library Focus: What Does Customer Service Mean to Us as a Service
    • St. Albans Campus Focus: What Does Customer Service Mean to Our Staff?
    • How Do We Recruit for Customer Service?
    • How Do We Train Staff?
    • Student Mentors: Rovers, Student Assistants, Research Ambassadors, and Writing Space Mentors
    • How Do We Know When We are Getting it Right?
    • What Have We Learnt So Far?
    • Future Considerations?
  • Chapter 6. Innovations in User Services at Sabancı University Information Center
    • Abstract
    • About Sabancı University
    • About the Information Center
    • Introduction
    • Rooms Booking System
    • Nothing Endures But Change. (Heraclitus, 540 –480 BC) (Fechete 2014)
    • Customer Satisfaction
    • Improving Ideas Comes with Erasmus
    • Standards
    • Problems with the Reservation System
    • Teamwork
    • Finally
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. Library Services for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus: Listening to Our Customers in a Shared Services Environment
    • Abstract
    • Background and Context
    • Library Structure
    • Customer Care and Our Customers
    • Customer Consultation and Feedback
    • UCF LibQual Survey 2013
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 8. Where Next for the “Front Line”?
    • Abstract
  • Bibliography
  • Index


The term 'customer service' is not new to the academic library community. Academic libraries exist to serve the needs of their community, and hence customer service is essential. However, the term can be applied in a variety of ways, from a thin veneer of politeness, to an all-encompassing ethic focussing organisational and individual attention on understanding and meeting the needs of the customer. For customers, the library’s Front Line team is the ‘human face’ of the library. How well they do their job can have a massive impact on the quality of the learning experience for many students, and can directly impact upon their success. The importance of their role, and the quality of the services they offer, should not be underestimated – but in an increasingly digital world, and with potentially several thousand individuals visiting every day (whether in person or online), each with their own agendas and requirements, how can the library’s Front Line team deliver the personal service that each of these individuals need? Customer Service in Academic Libraries contributes to what academic libraries, as a community, do really well - the sharing of best practice. It brings together, in one place, examples of how Front Line teams from libraries across a wide geographical area - Hong Kong, Australia, Turkey and the United Kingdom – work to ‘get it right for their customers’. Between them, they cover a range of institutions including research-intensive, mixed HE/FE, private establishments and shared campuses. All have their own tales to tell, their own emphases, their own ways of doing things – and all bring their own examples of best practice, which it is hoped readers will find useful in their own context.

Key Features

  • Discusses ‘customer service’ in a library setting
  • Translates ‘management theory’ into useful practice information
  • Examines building relationships, meeting customer needs, and marketing and communication
  • Provides examples of practical experience grounded in recent, transferable experience


Academic librarians, Customer services personnel in Academic libraries, students and researchers


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2015
6th October 2015
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Mossop

Stephen Mossop is Head of Library Services at the University of Exeter, UK. He has published and presented widely on aspects of Strategic Organisational Development and Library Management, and has special interests in library design, RFID and customer relationship management. He is best known for his 2008 case study on RFID at the University of Central Lancashire (for the BIC e4libraries project).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Exeter, UK