• I've been able to surprise even new members by calling their names when they check out a book. Conditions have to be just right, mind you, so this doesn't always work.

    Our library's book return is beside our Check Out/In computer. When someone whose name I can't recall returns a book, I immediately pull it out of the return box and check it In on the computer. This brings their name up on the screen. I attempt to commit it memory for at least the duration of their stay. Using their name in a conversation helps, too. 

    My other fallback at checkout is to apologize and just ask their name. I promise them that I will remember it after I check them out 30 more times. Until then, they just have to give me a break:-)

  • Remembering names and faces is a challenge for many of our library staff and me, but we ask everyone who checks out a book to include their phone number under their name (using two lines on the check-out card).

    Our church directory is online, including pictures for most members and regular attenders.  So if I can't connect a name on a card with a mental picture of the person, I can easily go to the church directory (using either my phone or laptop) and see their photo. Not perfect--but fairly reliable--as a substitute for a younger brain.


  • I wish.  I'm hopeless with names and in our library, most contact is when someone has a question about something (check-out is done by patrons themselves, at a station outside the library in the hallway).  Sometimes if I don't know someone, and I can't remember their name, and no one else nearby knows it either, and they just checked out a book, I'll fish out the book card to see their name and try to commit it to memory using some sort of mnemonic but it's a slog....

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