Anxiety places pressure on staff to recognize and deal with it. They need to realize the difference between library anxiety and customer frustration. Customer frustration increases with the time and effort expended in an unsuccessful search for information or materials. Usually, time spent in a library is considered positive, but time spent looking for missing items or trying unsuccessfully to locate a specific piece of information is both unproductive and discouraging. At the same time, college and university students may use the library but not its physical collections. It is gratifying to know that the majority of the public claims to use public libraries and their resources, but what do they use and what are their expectations? Do anxiety and frustration have an impact on their use patterns?
Frustration has several causes. A principal one, inherent in the nature of libraries, is that demand for particular items frequently exceeds supply. Other causes of frustration are the customers’ inability to understand the system, library practices that hinder customers from obtaining what they want, and staff members who neglect to ascertain if customers found the information or the items desired. Note that, when measuring customer satisfaction, companies generally ask customers whether the products or services they received met or exceeded their expectations. This is an important question to ask and is a key factor behind satisfaction.