The paper identifies a means by which an administrator can derive feedback on library performance: work at the reference desk. This is consistent with much of current management thought which advocates closeness between management and the customer or consumer. The reference desk is suggested as the best vantage point from which to view the library and its users. Reasons why such desk service will benefit an administrator include the reaction of users to library policies, reality testing of library planning, seeing signs and communications from the users’ viewpoint, appraisal of staff, administrator perceived as practicing librarian, acquaintance with collections’ strengths and weaknesses, and insight into locally-developed tools and finding aids. Drawbacks include the possibility of feeling guilt over the few hours an administrator can work at the desk and the frequent necessity to admit ignorance. Reference desk service for administrators is advocated because it delivers the “end,” while much of what we do daily is concerned with the “means.”