"Having the contact center has really improved service for our patrons. They don’t have to worry about tracking down the right person or branch to get the item they need or to get an issue resolved," says Nadia.
As a lead contact center representative, Nadia answers, and trains other library staff on answering, hundreds of patron inquiries each day that come in via phone, email, and text message— everything from account related questions and brief reference questions, to hold requests and digital technology help. Along with other staff, she refers patrons to other Multnomah County services or to a team of Multnomah County librarians dedicated to answering in-depth research questions.
"The moment between the phone ringing and the person stating what they need is the moment of anticipation where it could be literally anything," she adds.
Before starting at the library, Nadia would wander Central Library with her three young children. Having decided she needed a change from her career as an elementary school teacher, she saw the library staff and knew that helping connect others to information was the job she was seeking. While finishing her Master of Library Science degree online from San Jose State University in 2013, she began working for Multnomah County Library as an on-call library assistant. In that role, she worked at nearly all library branches helping patrons before coming to her current position in the contact center— a job that she says was “tailor made” for her.
"It’s been very gratifying helping people connect with the library even if they aren’t coming into our branch," says Nadia. “Just recently, I helped a woman in her 90s who was determined to read ebooks. I talked her through downloading the app and checking out her first ebook. And she did it! I was so pleased to help her get to that special “aha” moment and connect with the library in a new way."
As the contact center helps more and more patrons access library services, Nadia looks excitedly toward the future:
"As the ways people access information have changed, the library has changed too. The world is becoming increasingly digital, and the library has to bring people along and help address disparities in digital literacy. The contact center has been an exciting next step in serving patrons, while giving us the opportunity to identify better ways we can continue to evolve our service and make it more consistent. The library is a place where people come to learn their whole lives, and I’m thrilled to be a part of helping others on that journey.