customer concerns about library operations

The Auburn Public Library strives to provide the best possible customer service.  Key to providing this level of service is a mechanism to receive and respond to customer concerns, complaints, and suggestions about how the Library operates on a day-to-day basis. This feedback helps the Library improve its services, build customer support and create staff training opportunities.

Definitions

A complaint is a feedback response from an external customer or organization dissatisfied with some aspects of library service, programs, equipment, or facilities. Complaints can be received in person or via letter, telephone, fax, e-mail, the APL website, or Statement of Concern about Library Operations Form.

For the purposes of this policy, the terms concern and complaint are used interchangeably.

For policies regarding customer concerns about materials in the Library’s collection, see the Customer Concerns about Library Materials Policy.

Response procedures

It is the responsibility of Library staff members to respond to customer complaints courteously and with good faith efforts to resolve them immediately or in a timely fashion.

When a staff member receives a complaint which s/he is not able to properly address without assistance, the complaint will be referred to the appropriate person, which in most cases will be a department head. In such cases, the customer may be asked to fill out a Complaint Form for tracking purposes. APL department heads are authorized and encouraged to use their judgment in interpreting policies and to use a wide range of procedures to resolve complaints to the benefit of the customer. In cases where a mutually agreed upon remedy can not be found, the customer’s Complaint Form will be referred to the director for a resolution of the situation.

The director will have final authority to resolve complaints involving day-to-day operational and procedural issues. Complaints about actual library policies may be reviewed by the Library’s Executive Board.

Staff members who have assisted a customer with a concern or complaint continue to share in the responsibility for its resolution. They are expected to be proactive in remaining informed of the situation and following up on its outcome.

Response Standards

The speed of the response to a customer’s complaint or concern is critical to its satisfactory resolution. Response from the Library to the customer regarding their complaint may be

  •  In person or by telephone. The complaint will be handled immediately by the staff member receiving the complaint, or it will be referred to the appropriate staff member who can effectively address it. If the matter can not be resolved immediately, the customer will be contacted within three working days to answer their complaint or, at a minimum, to acknowledge that their complaint is being addressed and to explain what steps are being taken to arrive at a satisfactory resolution.
  • Electronically. Complaints received through e-mail or the APL website will be responded to within three working days. If possible, the issues will be resolved within three days of receiving the complaint but, if not, the customer will be acknowledged within that timeframe and informed of what steps are being taken to arrive at a successful resolution.
  • Via letter or form. Complaints received by letter or through a Complaint Form will be responded to as soon as possible. When contact information is provided, a response and/or resolution will be made within ten working days, even less if an e-mail address or phone number is provided.