Sunday, February 5, 2017

Secret Shopper: It could have gone better...

My experience as secret shopper was probably not the worst that will be read but it did leave much to be desired. The experience wasn’t a complete waste but I didn’t walk back out of the library feeling that I had been serviced very well. Some of the disappointments were because I had to go on a weekend instead of weekday, but really patrons should be able to receive good service whenever they visit a library.
When I first walked into the public library I didn’t see a reference desk but I did see the service desk so I assumed they’d be able to point me in the right direction. I asked the women behind the counter if there was a place I could get some advice on books to read and the look she gave me was immediately disappointing. In no way did I expect this worker to help me with my overall objective but I at least thought she could tell me who could help, however, she seemed lost as to where to send me so she pointed toward another area and said to ask the information desk where I could go to find the services I needed.
As I walked up to the librarian once he’d returned to this desk, I asked if there was a place I good get some advice on reading, I again received a look of confusion. Apparently, this library didn’t have such a designated place but he was willing to give it a go. I told him I was looking into getting into the horror genre but didn’t know much about it or what books to read (all true), but right off I got the feeling that this might be out of his area. I will say he gave it a good try, but he seemed to do everything against the book.
Instead of using Novelist, which I knew the library had access to, the librarian used his own profile on Goodreads and simply printed off a random list that was associated with a book he was interested in. The list he printed gave me titles but as I wanted more information I asked if he knew of any of the titles or could give any good recommendations. The Goodreads list only had titles and no descriptions, so I thought this was a good follow up question. He unfortunately didn’t and stated that the horror genre was not something he was an expert in, but he did give me a name of another librarian that could probably help me out, however she wasn’t in that day.
In this instance I felt that I was the one asking all the questions and was never asked the types of questions that may have helped the librarian find a book that would suit my interest. Even when he did offer up a suggestion I wasn’t given much information about the book, instead I had to do my own investigation to see if I thought the book would be a good read or not. All in all, while this wasn’t the worst experience I could imagine, it could most defiantly have gone better.


  1. Taylor,

    Wow, this is disappointing :( I am getting the idea that this was a small library? It seems like they don't get that question a lot, so I guess I can't blame them; but they should have at least been the ones asking you questions, not the other way around :/ Sorry it didn't go as well as it could have. Luckily you weren't genuinely in need...

  2. Sorry it wasn't better, but you definitely learned a lot of "what not to do's" from this!