North Hall Library


Customer Service

A step by step guide to mastering the Circulation Desk

First Impressions

You, as a Circulation Desk Assistant, are at the forefront of the library – the first person seen when entering the building; the first point of contact. As such, it is of utmost importance that customers come first and that they are assisted to the best of your ability. Personal work will only be permitted when you are not assisting patrons or completing work related tasks. If you are unable to assist a patron, it is imperative that you redirect them to someone who can.

General greetings of patrons are expected, this does not mean you must say hi to every person who walks by, but be aware and acknowledge the people who are coming and going.

What you can and cannot do

There are certain questions that student assistants are now allowed to address. In that case, you are to either contact your supervisor, send the patron to the Information Desk or call the Information Desk to have the librarian come to the Circulation Desk.

You are expected to do all of the following:

  • Check materials in/out & renew items
  • Sort items for shelving
  • Answer basic directional or library policy questions
  • Provide basic printing/copying instruction
  • Pay fines
  • Answer phones
  • Accept new reserves (Reserves under Additional Responsibilites)
  • Provide Community Patron Applications

You should not do any of the following:

  • Leave the desk unattended – no exceptions! If you need to leave it for any reasons, contact your supervisor or the Information Desk.
  • Answer ANY questions about research, finding books/materials; basically anything more in depth than locational or the tasks listed above.
  • Accept a Community Patron Application with money. If it is between 8am-3:30pm, contact your supervisor. If she is unavailable or it is after 3:30pm, contact the Information Desk to handle this transaction.
  • A student printer is out of paper or toner. Contact the Information Desk so that the Computer Assistant can address the issue.
  • Proxy patrons. If it is between 8am-3:30pm, contact your supervisor. If she is unavailable or it is after 3:30pm, tell them they will have to wait and speak to your supervisor.  
  • Scanning:  Send patrons to the Information Desk to complete these tasks.
  • Check out the Screening Room, Library Classroom (429), Seminar Room 130, or Study Room 404 or any of the 1st Floor Media Rooms.  Send patrons to the Information Desk to complete these tasks.
  • Log a community user onto a computer. Send community patrons to the Information Desk for computer usage.

Additionally, if you are uncomfortable with a situation or feel that you may be in danger, contact your supervisor or the Information Desk immediately.


You are responsible for answering the phone in a professional manner should it ring during your shift – “North Hall Library, this is [ N A M E ], how may I help you?”.

To place a call on hold:


  • Press the Access 1 button
  • “Hang up” the phone

To transfer a call:

  • Press the Access 2 button 
  • Dial the extension for the person you are transferring to
  • Inform them who you are (Name), where you are calling from (Circulation Desk) & that you have a transfer call (regarding…)
  • Press the transfer button

The phone numbers you will need to know are by the phone as well as these instructions.


This is the number one problem/complaint about student assistants at the Circulation Desk.  Please follow the guidelines listed below.

  • You may say hello to friends, professors and other people who come into the library.  You may have short conversations lasting no more than 1-3 minutes.  I am not asking you to be rude but this is not a time for you to be socializing.
  • If someone "won't leave" tell them you will get into trouble from your supervisor or that you have some things you need to get done for work.  
  • Do not bring friends to work with you.