|By Michelle Symington|
AGAWAM Library patrons may soon notice some changes at the library as staff members work on the Customer Service and Marketing the Library project.
The Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services recently awarded the Agawam Public Library with a $9,000 grant to help implement the project.
The grant was given through the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Massachusetts State Library.
The grant will allow the library staff to implement a number of improvements to make visiting the library a better experience for all of its patrons.
"We were very happy that we would be able to go forth with the project," said Judy Clini, director of the Agawam Public Library.
This is the first time the library will implement a customer service and marketing program.
"There is always something we can be doing better to improve the way we treat our customers," she said.
Clini explained that the goal of the project is to make the library and its services more user friendly for the visitors.
The Board of Library Commissioners offers a variety of grants each year. Clini said she decided to apply for the customer service and marketing grant because "I thought it would work for us."
A portion of the grant will help the library create better signage for the library so that patrons have an easier time finding what they need, according to Clini. The library will receive help creating signs from a graphic design consultant.
For example, she said some people do not realize that the library is now two floors and once they are on the lower level, they have some trouble finding their way back upstairs. She said better signs could help the patrons find their way around.
The grant will also help the library update its website to make it easier for patrons to navigate, Clini said.
She added that more useful information will also be made available on the website.
A portion of the grant will allow the library staff to participate in a number of workshops, facilitated by customer service professionals, that deal with customer service issues.
"The staff seems to be excited at the chance to do something like this," Clini said. The library currently has 22 staff members, all of whom will participate in the workshops.
While much of the Customer Service and Marketing project will be training staff and making improvements in-house, Clini is looking for public input.
She said she hopes to learn what members of the community like about the library as well as areas they believe could possibly need improvements.
The library has contracted with a professional to work with the library on its survey, which will be available for people to complete at the library and online at www.agawamlibrary.org.
Clini said that the library would not be able to follow through with the project without the grant.