ARCHIVED: AALL Professional Development: 1999 Satellite Videoconference

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Quality Customer Service
Beyond "How May I Help You?"

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and West Group will present a Satellite Videoconference on the topic of Customer Service, on Thursday, April 15, 1999 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  This Web site provides information about how to participate in and plan an educational event around this program.  If you need more information, please contact AALL Education Manager Mary Jawgiel at 312-939-4764.

Program Details | AALL Wants To Hear From You! | Speakers
How to Register | The Role of a Site Coordinator
Benefits of Participation | Locating a Videoconference Facility
Wrap-around Sessions | Budgeting


Quality Customer Service:  Beyond "How May I Help You?"
Program Date: Thursday, April 15, 1999
Broadcast Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Service is how your customers measure the success of your library, and every employee in your library contributes to customer satisfaction. However, budget constraints, continuous technological changes, and smaller staffs present challenges to providing great service. Join us and find out how to sharpen your competitive edge by learning how to measure and respond to customer preferences, despite limited resources and constantly shifting priorities.

Participants will be able to:

  • Develop goals, objectives, and action plans to ensure the best response to customer needs in a timely and cost-effective fashion;
  • Identify stakeholders and strategies for developing a sense of ownership;
  • Juggle conflicting demands and still meet the needs of a variety of customers;
  • Understand the importance of measuring customer needs;
  • Gather ideas concerning how to capture data and continually improve responses by using marketing concepts;
  • Locate the resources to create a customer database to improve internal and external communication;
  • Recognize the consequences of negative and positive inputs into the organization’s operations; and
  • Describe the process of customer service problem-solving.


AALL invites you to share your experiences and comments with your colleagues and the 1999 Satellite Videoconference speakers, Dr. Darlene Weingand and Ms. Pat Wagner.  Who are you and what do you hope to learn from participating in this program? What are the current customer service issues in your library?

If you are searching for answers or if  you are interested in learning about how other librarians respond to similar customer service issues, post your message by using the link below.  Responses from the program speakers will not be posted to this message board.   Dr. Weingand and Ms. Wagner will include as many of the major issues as possible during the Satellite Videoconference.

Click here to post your message.


The program speakers will be Dr. Darlene Weingand, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) and Faculty Director of SLIS Continuing Education Services, and Ms. Pat Wagner, Owner and Principal of Pattern Research, a 24-year old research and training firm in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Weingand teaches library management and marketing to librarians in all types of libraries and has written extensively in these areas. Books authored by Dr. Weingand include Customer Service Excellence, A Concise Guide for Librarians (ALA, 1997) and Future-Driven Library Marketing (ALA, 1998).

Ms. Wagner presents over 100 programs each year in states from Alaska to Florida on topics such as customer service, conflict management, productivity, and leadership. In addition to AALL events, Ms. Wagner has presented for American Library Association, Special Libraries Association, and Association of Records Managers and Administrators International programs. Books authored by Ms. Wagner include The Bloomsbury Review� BookLover's� Guide to Home Libraries (Owaissa, 1996) and Building Support Networks for Schools (ABC-CLIO, 1992).


Site Coordinators will purchase a Site License from AALL and in turn, may register as many participants as their facility will accommodate. Multiple sites may be registered at discounted rates. 

will purchase a Site License from AALL and in turn, may register as many participants as their facility will accommodate. Multiple sites may be registered at discounted rates. 

Site Registration Form

Individuals will register with a Downlink Site. Registration fees may vary by site. Downlink Site locations and contact information will be posted on-line as sites register with AALL.

will register with a Downlink Site. Registration fees may vary by site. Downlink Site locations and contact information will be posted on-line as sites register with AALL.

Downlink Sites and Contact Information



Site Coordinators may perform many functions. Either singly or as a team, they can prepare for the program, register individual participants, arrange for hospitality, publicize the event, encourage people to call in questions and fill out evaluation forms, lead the wraparound sessions, and deal with any problems that might arise.


Satellite Videoconferencing is a means of delivering valuable educational programs to organizations and individuals, regardless of their geographical location. Everyone involved benefits, including the host organization and participants.

Host Organization Benefits:

  • The basic educational event will be planned and organized for you! Sessions during the program will allow participant interaction with expert speakers who may not otherwise be locally available. Sites are also provided with a Site Coordinator’s Manual and master copies of the Participant Handouts, certificates, and evaluation forms.
  • Opportunity to locally involve your organization’s members and colleagues in a national, perhaps international event, at a much lower cost than possible without such technology.
  • Potential to recover costs by registering a Downlink Site for a set price and in turn obtaining financial support and/or charging individual registration fees.

Participant Benefits:

  • Opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from other regions by calling or faxing in questions and comments during the broadcast.
  • Opportunity to hear expert speakers who may not otherwise be locally or regionally available.
  • Take less time away from the office by attending an educational event locally or regionally.
  • Avoid long distance travel/hotel arrangements by attending an educational event locally or regionally.



What to look for:

  • A site that is equipped with satellite videoconferencing downlink capabilities. The program will be broadcast via K and Cu band frequencies. Satellite Coordinates are provided to registered Site Coordinators approximately 10 days prior to the broadcast.
  • A site that provides a Technical Coordinator who will be available before and during the broadcast to set-up the equipment and address any technical difficulties. If you are not familiar with satellite technology, arranging to have an expert on-site is the most important thing you can do to ensure a successful videoconference.
  • A viewing room with sufficient space to accommodate your anticipated number of participants and your requirements for wrap-around sessions.
  • Comfortable seating arranged so that all participants are able to see the viewing screen. A 25" monitor is recommended for 25 people, 2 monitors for 50 people, and large-screen projection for more than 50 people.
  • Writing surfaces for participants so that note-taking is easier.
  • A telephone outside the viewing room for participants to use during the question and answer sessions. Using a telephone inside the viewing room, during the broadcast may cause feedback.
  • A fax machine for participants to use if they prefer to fax questions for the question and answer sessions.

Where to look:

  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Community Colleges
  • High Schools
  • Vocational schools
  • Public Grade Schools
  • Bar Associations
  • Hospitals

Other options are hotels, and cable companies. Although, these options may be more expensive than those listed above.

World Wide Web Resources

You may also be able to find sites via the World Wide Web. Associations and Universities are examples of organizations that may provide on-line directories of facilities with satellite videoconferencing downlink capabilities.

Here are a few examples:

International Teleconferencing Association
This Web site contains hotlinks to various directories of sites. Under the table of contents, follow these links: Reference Library/Hotlinks to Other Web Sites and Resources/Directories.

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Satellite Downlink Directory
This Web site contains a directory of sites in the state of Indiana and is searchable by county.

University of Wisconsin-Extension Distance Education Clearinghouse
This Web site contains a directory of sites in the state of Wisconsin and is searchable by city and county.



Wrap-around sessions greatly enhance the learning experience, lend a more personal atmosphere, and allow additional time for discussion. These sessions provide an effective way to tailor a program to suit participant needs at a regional site.

How to get started:

  • Consult with friends and colleagues, local librarians and/or local customer service consultants regarding the program topic and its local implications - they may have ideas for wrap-around sessions.
  • Select a moderator - this may be the Site Coordinator or an individual who is involved in planning the wrap-around sessions.
  • Determine the program format that will best suit the needs of your intended audience.
  • Investigate local speakers for the wrap-around sessions.
  • Consider preparing additional Participant Handouts, which incorporate the wrap-around sessions with the base program and provide a useful "take home" reference guide for participants.

Ideas for program formats:

  • Presentations
  • Panel discussions
  • Group activities
  • Break-out sessions
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Role playing
  • Any combination of the above!



Program costs for a Downlink Site may include the following:

  • Site registration fee
  • Meeting room
  • Downlink rental & related equipment charges
  • Participant handout duplication
  • Local publicity
  • Refreshments
  • Telephone line charges
  • Supplies: name tags, signage

How to compute the individual registration fee:

Below is an example of how to compute the individual registration fee for your Downlink Site. Costs are estimated and based on an anticipated audience of 30 participants.

Downlink Site Registration


Meeting room


Downlink rental & related equipment charges


Participant Handout duplication (60-page handout @ $.05/page)


Publicity in organization’s newsletter & via listserv


Refreshments ($4.00 per person)


Telephone line charges (included in meeting room charge)


Name tags and signage




Registration fee (Total divided by 30 participants)


Suggestions for minimizing costs:

  • Join forces with other libraries/organizations
  • Advertise in local chapter, library, or consortium newsletters
  • Post announcements on chapter listservs, Web sites, and discussion lists
  • Create bulletin board announcements and signs in-house and at local libraries
  • Send news releases to local and topic-related press
  • Consider ways to obtain financial support [see below]

Consider ways to obtain financial support from organizations such as:

  • Parent institutions
  • Publishers
  • Law firms

In exchange for recognition on local:

  • Publicity
  • Registration packets
  • Participant handouts
  • Materials at display table

Offer potential supporters a variety of options. For example:

  • All supporters may receive recognition on a listing included with the registration packets.
  • Mid-level supporters may in addition receive recognition on the cover of the local participant handouts and materials at the display table.
  • Major supporters may receive the aforementioned recognition, as well as being included on all local publicity.