Ask Me First began service at the Leesburg Public Library in January of this year. The intent was to improve reader’s advisory service on the Library’s first floor and to provide a front door point of contact for those entering the building. Before then, patrons would sometimes have to stand in line waiting for Circulation Staff to answer basic reference and directional questions. The Ask Me First station streamlines and enhances the library visit and allows greater efficiency at customer service desks.
The Ask Me First desk is staffed mostly by the Adult Services Team with occasional help from other departments. The desk is open, when staffing permits, weekday mornings 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM to welcome patrons when they enter the building. The Ask Me First person can perform catalog and simple informational searches on a net book and can place holds. We also assist patrons in looking for new fiction or to pickup and return items. Some of the questions we have answered at that location include where someone can apply for a marriage license in Lake County, where they can find Wii games, and how to get a copy of Neil Simon’s play “Plaza Suite”. The desk provides a novel way for us to greet and assist patrons while improving their library experience. Some days we have logged more than 100 questions in one three-hour period at this desk, and we get many compliments on the new service from our happy customers!