To gain some further knowledge and develop my skills as a Library Adviser for QUT I attended two and half days of Learning and Research Desk Training. During these days I developed my skills in searching for information, helping students with study problems and how to deal with emotional clients. By completing this training I have grown as an information professional by improving my customer service skills allowing me to better help users and their library experiences.
One session taught was about searching for information and the tools available for students regarding studying. This was a valuable class as it highlighted to me that various searching techniques that are useful such as searching for synonyms by putting all similar words together inside brackets. I was also unaware of using questions marks as wild cards within words when words could be spelt differently in different countries such as searching for colo?r. It was also useful to see all the study skills resources QUT has available to their students such as CiteWrite, Studywell & Study Smart tutorials. The most enlightening aspect I took away was that as a first tier point of contact for users of the QUT Library my job is about pointing users to these resources and skills and explaining how to best use them, promoting independence and allowing the users to develop their own study skills. Overall this session has allowed me to develop my searching skills further and define my professional perspective on how to best help and empower users to utilise the library resources.
Learning about dealing with emotional clients has really allowed me to improve my customer service skills and thus grow as an information professional. We listened to a speaker from QUT Counselling services who explained when dealing with an overwrought clients it is best to empathise, stay calm and advise them of the options available to them such as counselling services, financial services and academic language and learning services. We should empower distraught clients to help themselves. When dealing with irate clients staying calm is best and this was reiterated by counselling services and from the Library Services Manager, Nicole Clark. Knowing how to deal with emotional clients is vital as these people usually need the most help. By learning these techniques it has allowed me to grow as an information professional as customer service is crucial role played by many information professional roles.
By attending these training days I have been able to grow as an information professional. I learnt that as a first tier point of contact for library users it is my job to show clients the many options they have available to them for the study, financial and emotional needs. If I cannot help them directly it is important that I can point them in the direction they should go and make sure they get there. It is also crucial that I have the skills to deal with emotional clients in order to become a successful information professional. By attending the session from counselling services I have been able to further develop my customer service skills and thus develop my professional skills too. Overall the Learning and Research Training days have allowed me to develop several of my skills including searching and customer service which has allowed me to grow as an information professional.
Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities