A Simple View Of Community Management
Who Is Your James?
Who Is Your James?

There’s always a crowd gathered outside the front door of the Louisville Free Public Library‘s main branch in the morning. Doors open at 9 a.m. but the regulars show up long before. Some talk, some read, some listen to music. A few who have forged friendships laugh about the latest developments in professional wrestling or the NBA playoffs.

Most of the people waiting are anxious to grab a good seat in the computer lab available to anyone who walks through the door. Some want to get online and check their email, send resumes and search for jobs. Others are taking online courses to better themselves. A few are immigrants using the free access to apply for citizenship, learn English online or even navigate the State of Kentucky’s website to figure out how to start their own business.

Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Libr...
Image via Wikipedia

I waited with the crowd recently just to take in the patron perspective. I recently accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of Directors of the Library Foundation and had a 9 a.m. meeting with the Foundation staff, so I waited outside like everyone else.

At precisely 9 a.m., James, a long-time security guard and library fixture, walked through the inner doors and began unlocking the series of exterior ones. Friendly, but firm, he asked everyone to wait until he got the full set of doors unlocked before coming in. Sometimes anxious computer users make mad dashes to get the right machine or their preferred station. James knows a more orderly entry will prevent folks from getting hurt … or mad.

As we began to filter in to the main lobby area between the doors and the front desk, James recited a welcome to the patrons. He said:

“Welcome to the Louisville Free Public Library. We’ve got books, periodicals, computers and more. And here, everybody’s welcome.”

He didn’t say it to anyone in particular, but to everyone in particular all at once. In many ways, James is all the community manager the library needs. He opens the door, welcomes everyone and hangs around in case you need something.

Who is your James?

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • scotttownsend

    It seems as though everyone has a James. Most of us don't realize it though. I think I know who our James is (heck it might be me)

  • I often see marketers using technology to social media management! But I believe a strategic thinking to relate you community will lead to perfect management!

  • SEO

    thanks for sharing…

  • Hi Jason,

    I think it is very important for every business to have their own “James”.

    Awhile back when I was putting myself through college and working as a host at a local restaurant, my manager said something that has stuck with me since – “The host/hostess is the most important position at the restaurant. They provide the first impression and last thank you that the customer receives.”

    Regardless of whether it be the host/hostess, the receptionist, the phone operator or first-level customer service I think it is important that you have the right person in that position and that you let them know that they really can be the most important person to each and every customer.

    Great post!

    • Great analogy, Tim. Thanks for sharing!


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