Breaking down the barriers - the no desk academic library

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When entering an academic library, customers most often see a service desk. Some libraries have one desk and other libraries have multiple service points. At the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Library there is none. The rationale behind a no desk academic library is: to create a more user friendly environment where library staff approach and greet customers rather than the other way around exploit self-service technologies by providing self-service check outs, computer terminals and shopping centre-style kiosks ensure that the Library s prime real estate is used even when library staff are not present .After extensive renovations the Library has become an exemplar for customer space, providing flexible facilities and services that positively respond to the needs of today s (and future) customers. The Help Zone is designed to be a place where customers seek assistance with staff taking a customer to a workstation/self-check machine/kiosk to undertake an activity. At the Help Zone customers are encouraged to find out answers for themselves with staff members acting as guides rather than the experts. This paper outlines the design features and service model of UNSW Library s Help Zone. It provides details on changes to staffing work and structure, responses from customers, designing the shopping centre-style kiosks, and the intended rollout plan to other (non library) service areas of the University.
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Fletcher, Janet
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UNSW Faculty
download Conf Paper_Breaking down the barriers.pdf 229.32 KB Adobe Portable Document Format
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