I wanted to make up and wear a button on my lanyard that made it clear to shy or reluctant patrons that I'm at the library to help. Yesterday on Twitter, I asked folks which text would make them feel more welcome and able to ask the questions they needed to ask: "Ask me" or "I can help."
@amycrea suggested "I love questions!" as an alternative.
@lloydsoldout gave great, thoughtful feedback: "I Can Help sounds easier. Ask means I have to do something."
@MelissaZD wrote, "What about 'I like to help?'" I loved this modification, because, as we all know, sometimes we CAN'T help--but those of us who are passionate about what we do always want the opportunity to try.
I finished the below today on my lunch break--they're available at Shelf Check's tiny Zazzle store at the base price ($1.95 each--I make 5 cents per), where you can customize them (change fonts, colors, even text), too.
*NOTE: Zazzle often has sales, so always head to RetailMeNot to check for coupon codes before shopping there. There's currently a 25% off sale on buttons, with the expiration date listed as 9/30/2014. The code: SELFEXPREZZZ. I also recommend checking out Zazzle Black if you think you'll be shopping there more than once--whether it's my stuff, someone else's designs, or making your own stuff (it's easy and I've found their products to be of high quality). With it, you can get a year of free standard shipping for $9.95. I've done it for years.
As these "approachability buttons" go, I think "I like to help" suits me best. Which, if any, appeals to you? Can you think of other, more effective phrases?
"I LOVE QUESTIONS" (black)
"I LOVE QUESTIONS (gray argyle)
"ASK ME" (Magic 8-ball-inspired)
"I like to help."