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Hamersly Library

Information and Reference Desk: Procedures

For students and staff of the information/reference desk

Processing Book Donations

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Processing Book Donations

Complete a gift acquisition slip for each donated item:

  1. Record today’s date, the name of the donor, and the title/author of the donation item.
  2. Record the estimated price on the gift acquisition slip.
  3. Paperback estimate = $15.00
  4. Hardback estimate = $30.00
  5.  Look up the item in the Library Catalog. If we own the item, check ‘Own’.  If we own a different edition, also write what edition we have in the space provided.
  6.  Look up the same item in Summit. If any other institutions own the item, record the number of copies available (minus any that WOU possesses).
  7. Place the completed gift slip in the book.
  8. Sort items into two different groups: items of which we already have a copy and items of which we do not yet have a copy.
  9. If you run out of gift acquisition slips, there is a master in the Reference Desk file cabinet under ‘forms’.

 

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Coupon Swap Procedures

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 Coupon Swap Procedures

When the newspapers are checked in on Sundays and Wednesdays, Info Desk students will receive the batch of ads.

  1. Pull out the coupon inserts (including the duplicates)
  2. Paper clip them together (even if there’s only one insert), along with a blank piece of scratch paper to serve as an initials card.
  3. Do a quick sort of the sale ads.  Keep those from:
    • grocery  stores
    •  pharmacies and general stores
    • home and garden stores
    • restaurants
    • etc
  4. But discard:
    • Duplicates of the sale ads (try to de-dup these, but don’t spend a bunch of time on this)
    • flyer-style ads, such as for furniture, heating and air conditioning, Dish network, etc.
    • Parade or  USA Weekend tabloid magazines
  5. Find one of the full-length ads (such as Fred Meyer or Big 5) and stick all of the other sale ads inside it
  6. Label a piece of scratch paper:
  7. Weekly sale ads and coupons: [ today’s date]
  8. Discard [date one week forward]
  9. Fasten the entire batch of sale ads with the label on top, with a paper- or binder clip. The coupon *inserts* are not bound with the sale ads since they are not expiring in a week.
  10. Put the coupons & ads in the Coupon Swap box in the student lounge.
  11. Discard the expired batch of weekly sale ads.
  12. Make sure there is a supply of scratch paper and paper clips in the box for coupon donors to use.

 

Last Sunday of each month:

Go through each cluster of coupons and discard the pieces where all coupons on it are expired.  (ex: One sheet will have coupons expiring 5/31, 6/15, and 8/30; hold it until end of August.)
If multiple clusters have the same initials on the front label, combine them into a single cluster.
General tidying. 

 

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Saturday Contingency Plan

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 Saturday Contingency Plan

Saturdays Contingency Plan
We are now staffing Saturday hours with an all-student staff. Here’s some guidance for certain situations.
You can call or text Janeanne anytime on her cell 503-508-4042. Your calls/texts are welcome whether it’s an urgent situation or mundane question!

What if a fellow employee doesn’t show up?
Please try to contact the missing employee. If you haven’t been able to contact him or her for ½ hour, go through the contacts for others who are trained for the appropriate service area and who are available. Email your immediate supervisor regarding the absence and who was able to come in.

For safety & security concerns or emergencies
Call Campus Public Safety through the non-emergency line 8-8481 or EMERGENCY LINE 8-9000.

Patron issues

  1. If a research question come up, refer the patron to me or to another librarian according to subject area! This means:
    • As you are able, give the patron some ideas to start with. Try looking at the Research Guide appropriate for the subjec
    • Tell the patron that you would like to refer the question to a librarian for more thorough help
    • Give the patron my business card or that of the appropriate librarian by subject. Also request the patron’s email address so you can email it to me (or the other librarian) along with the question.
  2. We hired you all partly because you are kind and attentive to people. However, if anyone monopolizes your attention or socializes persistently, you must be able to bring the interaction to a close politely but firmly.
  3. Chat for a bit, but then explain that you have work to get done. In desperate situations, if you are at the Info Desk, you might need to escape the confines of the desk. Have Checkout stay out front while you do some dusting, shelfreading, tidying for a bit.
  4. If the patron engages you in an extended help session (rather than social chat), establish the boundaries of the question. Tell him/her that you are able to help with x, but beyond that point you are not able/allowed to help. Repeat if necessary, and refer the person to me if he needs further assistance.

 

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Saturday Newspaper Processing

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Saturday Newspaper Processing

You should receive two copies each of the Statesman Journal and the Oregonian. If you only receive one copy that’s not a problem, if you receive none though please leave an email for Jackson Stalley.

One copy is ours to put on the display shelf, the other(s) can go in the staff lounge upstairs.

Remove any ads from our copies and process them according to the Coupon Swap box procedures.

Attach the appropriate labels on each newspaper in the upper left corner.

Replace them in the ‘Most Recent’ display shelf. Take the old ‘most recent’ newspaper and shift it into the ‘Previous’ display shelf. Finally, take the old ‘previous’ newspaper, remove the red dot from the label, and place it on the re-shelving cart.


If you have any questions please leave them for Jackson or your supervisor.

 

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Difficult Patrons

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 Difficult Patrons

Suggestions for dealing with difficult library patrons:

  1. Develop and maintain appropriate personal boundaries at all times, while remaining professional. Be careful of the amount and type of personal information you share with patrons.
  1. If a patron is not respecting these boundaries, you may say something like: “I’d like to help you, but this is what I need from you first…” or “I’m not going to have this conversation with you. I’d like it if you would…” Be clear about the expectations you have of the person.
  1. If you feel uncomfortable based on interactions with a student/patron, communicate this immediately to your supervisor.
  1. Consistent and appropriate messages can be found in the information desk handbook.
  1. If at any time you feel as if your safety is compromised, contact Public Safety or 911 as appropriate.
    Public Safety Emergency: 8-9000
    Public Safety After Hours: (503) 932-3419

“I would like to cancel an appointment with Mr. Murphy”

If you call campus public safety and say “I need to cancel an appointment with Mr. Murphy”  it tells the officer that you would like their help with a problem patron, but that you do not feel comfortable talking freely about the situation.

Respect: show consideration for; recognize; acknowledge; value legitimate library needs.

An employee who is respectful listens to what the patron has to say. Respect reflects the value and worth of another person. When respect is lacking, there is an imbalance of power.

Confidentiality: privacy; discretion; carefulness; caution; tact; good judgment.

Employees are expected to act responsibly and sensitively when providing service to or handling the records of patrons.

 

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Lost and Found

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Lost and Found

When an item is found or turned in to the desk, fill out a lost & found card and attach it to the item so that we know when it was found and how long to hold it.  When possible, we try to contact the owner. Because we contact owners when possible to let them know we have their item, we like to hold items for at least a week in case the owner comes to the desk to claim. If someone does come to the desk to check for an item and we do not have it, let them know that eventually all items go to public safety so they should check there. Give them contact information for public safety.

Campus Public Safety sends someone over to pick up our lost and found every week or so. Their schedule is not consistent, so if our lost and found is becoming too full, please notify the information desk supervisor and she will contact campus public safety.

Please put small items in the top drawer and larger items in the bottom cabinet.  The drawer and cabinet should remain locked. The key is located in the desk drawer next to the info computer.

Please do not put perishable food or drink items in the lost and found without checking to see that they were claimed in a reasonable amount of time. Drink containers can be rinsed out and then held in lost and found. 

 

Please also see the “Lost and Found Valuables Policy and Log.”

 

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Phone Etiquette

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Phone Etiquette

At the Information and reference desks we get many phone calls. Please remember that you are representing the university and the library! All calls should be handled in a professional, courteous manner. The Telephone Skills Review included in this section describes the Western Oregon University standards for answering the telephone. In addition to the guidelines outlined in the skills review, here are a few notes:

  1. Please do not assume that the caller ID at the Information or Reference desk is correctly identifying the caller and that you can answer the phone less formally than usual. For example, just because the caller ID says ‘Michele Burke’ do not assume that Michele is the caller. The caller ID simply means that the call is coming through Michele’s extension. If a patron calls Michele’s direct line, but Michele does not answer, the patron then has the option to transfer to the Information desk. The caller ID will say Michele Burke, but she is not the caller. Please do not answer the phone by saying “Hi Michele.” Answer the phone by saying “Library and Media Services Information Desk” regardless of what caller ID says.
  1. When you are on the phone with someone and need to write something down, say “okay, I’m writing that down.” When you are writing or searching for something on the computer the caller can usually tell that you are distracted. By explaining what you are doing and why, they know that you are still focused on helping them.
  1. The volume on the phone needs to be kept loud enough that other desk personnel can tell when your extension is ringing. If people in your call-group can not hear your extension, they will not know that it needs to be answered.
  1. Press *7 to answer calls within your call-group. If the checkout desk is busy and the phone rings, the information person can press *7 to answer the call. Regardless of which phone rings, answer with the greeting appropriate for your location. That means that even if the checkout phone rings, if you are at the information desk, you should answer by saying “Library and Media Services Information Desk.” This avoids confusing the caller by answering as the checkout desk and then saying you will transfer them to the checkout desk.

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Socializing Policy

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Socializing Policy

One of the challenges in being a student worker at the public service desks of the Hamersly Library is controlling the number and length of personal contacts with friends and fellow students. We recognize, however, that some of your effectiveness as a public services student worker is based on your being a student- sometimes you are in the same classes or involved in the same activities as the students who need your assistance. They may be more willing to approach you since you are also a student. Library staff members recognize that and value your hard work and assistance to them and library patrons.

However, when you are at work, you are expected to concentrate on your work tasks. When your friends come to your work site, they may not understand that you are on duty. You are certainly welcome to greet your acquaintances, but you must limit the interaction unless the student has a question or needs assistance. Please focus on providing assistance to them rather than engaging in personal conversations. The trick is to get out of the conversation gracefully. You might look for an opening to state that you have to get back to work. Find a method that works for you. We expect that you will make an effort to control these interactions.

 

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Model Desk Behaviors

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Model Desk Behaviors

Behaviors that contribute to complete and correct answers

  1. Welcoming
    • Make eye contact
    • Smile
    • Give a friendly greeting
  2. Attentive
    • Give the patron your full attention
    • Maintain eye contact
    • Make attentive comments (“uh-huh,” “I see”)
  3. Listening
    • Paraphrase or repeat to demonstrate understanding
    • Do not interrupt
  4. Be Patient
    •  Do not act like you are in a hurry
    •  Allow time for the patron to formulate a response
    •  Do not assume you know what the patron wants
  5. Verifying
    • Paraphrase or repeat patron’s question
    • Ask for clarification (“You’re looking for a book title, do you need that specific title, or are you looking for information we might be able to find elsewhere?” “Do you already have a specific citation?”)
  6. Show and Tell
    • Explain what you are doing by thinking out loud
    • Turn the monitor so the patron can see what you are doing
    • Instruct the patron in use of the source
    • Offer referral to the reference person
  7. Informing
    • Confirm that answer is understood (“Does that make sense?” “Did you see how I got there?” “Do you want me to show you how I got that?” “Does this completely answer your question?”)
  8. Open invitation
    • Invite the patron to come back for help (“Come back if you’re not finding what you need,” “Let me know if that doesn’t work, there are other places I can check or I’ll ask one of our librarians”)
  9. Following up
    • Ask follow-up questions that address the patron’s query (“Did you find that journal?” “How is your search going?” “Do you think those materials will completely cover your topic?”)

 

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Using the PA System

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Using the PA System

Closing announcements are recorded and on a timer.  Unusual hours or other circumstances may require “live” announcements.   The Public Address (PA) system works through the telephone and may be used from the information, reference, and checkout desk phones.

  1. If the message is not an emergency, write down your announcement before engaging the address system.
  2. Lift phone receiver and dial 002.
  3. Listen for a slightly odd sounding dial tone.
  4. Dial 4 and immediately speak into the receiver.
  5. Remember to read the announcement slowly and to speak clearly and a bit louder than normal.
  6. When finished gently hang up using your finger rather than just setting the receiver in place as that makes a loud clunk.

Recorded messages.  These are programmed to play before closing, including the adjustments needed for intersessions, extended hours, and holidays.  They are written below in case of error or emergency. 

Msg #

When played

Script

1

30 minutes before close

The library will close in 30 minutes.

2

15 minutes before close

The library will close in 15 minutes.

3

1 minute before close

The library is now closing. Please exit the building at this time or move to the student lounge. It is located near the west entrance and is open 24 hours a day.  Thank you.

 

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