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Legacy Library

Library Reference Assistant Resource Guide: Job Expectations

General Expectations

  • Be on time for your shift.  Library staff or fellow student workers you are relieving at the reference desk may have schedule commitments and depend upon you to appear when you are scheduled.
  • Accurately record your hours on both the sign-in sheet at the reference desk and your electronic time sheet.  If there are any discrepancies, I consider what you have recorded on the paper sign-in sheet as your hours for a pay period. 
  • Complete your electronic time sheet in a timely manner.  It will ensure that you will be regularly paid throughout the semester.
  • If you know in advance that you cannot work a shift, **you** need to arrange for a substitute.  A list of all student reference assistant phone numbers and email addresses are posted at the reference desk or available by contacting Peter Thayer (text | email | phone).  If no one responds to you within 24 hours, notify Peter Thayer for assistance getting someone to cover for you.
  • Answer all requests you have receive from your co-workers for shift coverage.  Even if you can't fill in for someone, you are expected to respond back to them.  
  • If cannot work a shift due to a sudden or unexpected situation such as a family emergency, contact Peter Thayer immediately.  Sudden or unexpected situations do not include previously scheduled events about which you have forgotten, such as meetings, study sessions, make up exam times, practices, and other situations.  In these cases, you are expected to make advance arrangements. 
  • Make sure you don't schedule meetings, study sessions or other matters under your control during your shifts.  When it comes to your scheduled shift, your work comes first.  
  • If a non-emergency matter comes up that conflicts with one of your scheduled shifts, you must contact me about the matter NO LATER THAN 3 HOURS before your shift.  How you manage your time affects library operations, your library student co-workers, and library staff.  Giving me very short notice of matters like doctors' appointments or meetings in other parts of campus is not advisable.  Please plan ahead and communicate!

If you are have difficulty consistently abiding by any of these expectations, I will ask you to meet with me about how to improve matters.  If you flub up once or twice, that's OK.  Anything beyond a flub or two constitutes a pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed.   If your work performance does not satisfactorily improve within a reasonable period, you may be terminated from your position.

Reference Desk Expectations

The reference desk is the most important and most visible service point in the library.  Professional behavior and awareness of what is going on around you are among the key aspects of your job. To ensure that you maintaining a professional presence at the reference desk, please refrain from the following while you are on duty:

  • Eating meals.  You can consume snack foods and beverages in covered containers at the reference desk, but if you need to grab a quick meal at the cafe or Gilman, you need to eat it in the cafe area.  
  • Using headphones or checking social media or texting on a mobile device.  The primary responsibilities of your job require you to be responsive to patrons' needs and to what is going on in the building. Whether library staff are in the building or not, you be aware of what is going on around you.  Lack of awareness causes problems such as lines building up at printer stations and not recognizing student computer issues.  
  • Socializing with friends for extended periods or holding meetings or study sessions at the reference desk. This discourages library patrons from getting help.
  • Making or accepting personal cell phone calls unless they are important or urgent matters.  If you need to make or answer a call, you are certainly welcome to do so elsewhere to safeguard your privacy and not distract others. 
  • Inviting anyone behind the reference desk. If you have an unauthorized person behind the desk, you are responsible for what happens while they are there (e.g. they take a set of keys from one of the drawers).  Students using the reference desk area as a passthrough is permitted. 
  • Hanging out behind the circulation desk.  You may interact with circ students at the front of the circ desk, but not behind it.  You don't work there and you don't belong there. 

If you are not meeting any of the above expectations consistently and satisfactorily, I will discuss the situation with you and work with you to correct the matter.  If your work performance does not satisfactorily improve within a reasonable period, you may be terminated from your position.