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lris
Not just like but Love! - Mar₭ Liŋdŋer
Yes. What is behind the idea that "patron" is an unpleasant term? I just never got that. In the original thread I almost chimed in to support Meg's use of "reader" which is standard in special collections land, but mostly unknown elsewhere, it seems. - Steele Lawman
I sometimes wonder if the aversion to 'patron' is from the antiquated 'matron' similarity and/or the association one has with 'patron of the arts' = wealthy power/control/influence. - Nikki D.
See, that's so interesting to me, because I always associate a greater power imbalance in "customer." Sure there's power and influence involved in patronage, but for me there's no less of an imbalance in the other terms, and frankly, I'm ok with remembering that my job exists because these people need me. "Client" might be just fine, but has zero traction at my institution or any similar institutions in my area, so it would sound forced. I'm thinking this post needs a follow-up on etymologies. :-) - lris
To me, "clients", when referring to individuals, is the word they use in outpatient mental health to mean "patients." Otherwise, it refers to businesses who are clients of another business. - Betsy
The word people use on the phone when they call the library is "member." "Hello, I'm a member of your library and I was looking for a book." - Betsy
We could just follow the ancient Greeks (and, um, Target) and call everyone a guest. - laura x
Again I'm reminded of how different our libraries are. "Customer" (though I don't care for it) probably makes sense at an urban public library. "Customer" at my (and I assume Iris's) small liberal arts college library would probably have faculty complaining in faculty meetings about the "corporatization" of the library. - Steele Lawman
But are they guests, Laura? They are (usually) funding library services through tax and/or tuition dollars. - Mar₭ Liŋdŋer
There's also something Maslow-ian at work here, in that no one will much care what they are called if the library isn't clean, the service friendly-ish, the collection current and well-maintained, etc. - Steele Lawman
Mark, I was jesting, mostly. I find Target's use of guest truly appalling. I have, however, always been interested in the relationship between strangers and guests (they're referred to the same way) in Homer et al. - laura x
And yeah, what Steve said. - laura x
Ah. Thanks, Laura, and sorry for missing that. And I get the Homer et. al. ref now but without it being a bit more explicit I miss such old-timey thoughts in these new-fangled thought machines. ;) - Mar₭ Liŋdŋer
Joan Frye Williams has suggested "member"--and I certainly like that a whole lot better than (shudder) "customer" (since when is public library use a business transaction?)--but when I asked the LLN Challenge group, not one of them liked "member." - Walt Crawford
But don't public libraries work really hard to make sure that they're open to everyone in the community? Not just people who have library cards? Wouldn't this be confusing in different ways? - lris