Well-Behaved In Worcester

Kirsty Kift, Coventry University

On the 23rd November 2018, we all convened in Worcester’s wonderful Hive for a SDG event looking at managing user behaviour.

It was good to know in the spirit of the ‘All the Same but Different’ that our fellow library colleagues all sometimes struggle with similar aspects of unwanted customer behaviour. Unsurprisingly, noise, space and food all featured highly in the talks. The speaker from Birmingham City University (BCU) told us about their user feedback scheme and their resulting Be Considerate campaign. The Coventry speaker looked at the gap between staff and student perceptions of behaviour, along with conflicting messaging around expectations. They also explored some of the practical solutions they’d adopted in dealing with a Library which is open 24/7 in a busy city centre location.

After lunch, a University of Warwick presenter highlighted their Space Hogg scheme and space reservation pilot. This was noted as an activity which many of the delegates will watch with interest as it develops. Finally, the University of Worcester’s representative presented a very different view of managing both public and university access, given the Hive’s unique blend of academic and public library services, alongside the challenges of working with vulnerable customers. Our hosts definitely won the contest for oddest thing recharged by a customer in a library: a cordless drill! Delegates departed from the event having learnt a lot, and being reassured that if sometimes our customers present us with ‘interesting’ challenges, we are definitely not alone in facing them.

Linked event: