University of Wisconsin–Madison

NEW! Effective Customer Service in a Socially Distanced World [FULL]

With the current need for socially distant library services, many libraries are offering a mix of online and in-person services that allow patrons to make use of the library’s resources in a safe manner. In this environment, both online and socially distanced services require new approaches to customer service, and the development of new plans for addressing patron needs while ensuring staff safety.

In this course, we will examine the challenges of socially distanced services on library grounds as well as the unique customer service requirements of online interactions. You will learn techniques for de-escalating patron complaints in both environments, designing new policies, procedures, and services that address patron needs, and effectively supporting patrons in the face of rapidly changing realities. You will leave the course prepared to offer excellent customer service and support your patrons effectively in a socially distanced world.

At a glance

When: May 3 – June 13, 2021

Where: Online

Cost: $250 (10% discount if you register 2 weeks before the class starts!)

CE Credit: 2.0 CEUs/20 LEUs

Program: #308121

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

This course is full, and the waitlist is open. Add your name to the waitlist by clicking the button below. There is no cost to be on the waitlist, nor obligation to register for the course if a spot opens.


Due to remote work continuing into the Spring, please use the online registration option. If you need alternate arrangements, email Anna Palmer, or Meredith Lowe, Alternate registration options may result in delays.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins

Course details


  • Understanding key differences between online, socially distanced, and standard customer service
  • Creating new policies and procedures to support socially distanced and online patron services
  • Training and supporting staff tasked with offering socially distanced and online customer service
  • Implementing strategies for resolving negative online interactions
  • Developing de-escalation strategies for in-person conflicts in a socially distanced environment
  • Approaches to assessing new types of customer service
  • Collecting meaningful patron feedback in a socially distanced world
  • Evaluating the need for new and improved services
  • Launching new socially distanced and online services

Instructor: Carli Spina is the Head of Research & Instructional Services and Associate Professor in the Gladys Marcus Library, Fashion Institute of Technology (NY).