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Library Student Employee Guide: Behavioral Guidelines

Training & easy reference guide for Library Student Assistants
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Behavioral Guidelines


All students are to display an attitude toward work which fosters a supportive work atmosphere; treat others with courtesy; present, accept, and act upon constructive suggestions and criticism; and be able to prioritize and answer simultaneous requests for assistance. Students should use appropriate language when addressing library staff or patrons.

We are a service department and organization. We care about people and we care about serving others to the best of our ability. As a front-line worker, sitting at the information desk, it is your job to exemplify this.


We expect our student workers to be able to basic reference questions for students and patrons. If you would like more formal training on Pirate Search or using library databases, let Anne know! Otherwise, be prepared to help students conduct basic searches, filter their results, and identify relevant databases and libguides. To practice, complete this fun reference scavenger hunt!

In order to track usage analytics, be sure to fill out the reference statistics form after every question you answer. If you are not comfortable answering a question or unsure how to find the information the patron needs, feel free to refer them to a full-time librarian.

See the Reference Services Guide later in this manual for more information, guidelines, and tips!

Dress Code

Individual apparel should not attract undue attention from other employees or library users. You are not expected to dress up for work, but you should be clean and presentable. Apparel with inappropriate logos, icons, or wording should not be worn at the desk, at the judgment of the supervisor. Remember: Norrington's first floor is often chilly.

Cell Phones

We live in a digital world – I completely understand that cell phones are a critical part of our daily lives. However, cell phones should not be used while you are working at the information desk, this includes for personal calls, texting, games, social media, etc. Additionally, earbuds or headphones are strictly prohibited for use by library employees at the desk. Seeing an employee using these may discourage library users from asking for assistance. If you have extenuating circumstances on a specific day (i.e.: expecting a critical phone call) please notify your direct supervisor beforehand.

Library Computers & Equipment

Computers and other equipment in the department can not be used for personal business. Do not download images/documents, change computer settings, etc. on department computers. You cannot stream or watch videos on the library computers.

Food & Drink Policy

Small snacks, water, and covered beverages are allowed at the desk. Please step away from the desk if you need to eat a meal or more than a small, clean snack. If you make a mess at the desk, clean it up.


You are responsible for checking your student email regularly, even when you are not on the clock. Your supervisor may communicate with you through your student email about important work-related topics. You should also consistently check Slack during your work hours – this is where important information will be posted, shift changes happen, and work assignments are posted.

Supervisor 1:1s

Your supervisor will be meeting with you one-on-one for at least 15 minutes once a month. This will be a time for you to ask any questions or share any concerns. Your supervisor will schedule this meeting with you at least a week in advance, and it will take place during one of your regular shifts.

Setting Goals

You will work with your supervisor at the beginning of each academic year to set professional goals for yourself. You should view this position as not only a way to make money as a student, but as good practice for future professional life! Your goals will center around customer service, librarianship, and appropriate workplace behavior such as timeliness and communication. At the end of each academic year, you will meet with your supervisor for an evaluation of how successful you were in meeting your goals.

Library Student Employee Retreat

You will be expected to attend a library student employee retreat once a semester. You will be paid for this time and will be able to flex your schedule if you are already working 15 hours/week! Please make every attempt to attend the retreat; it is a valuable opportunity for new or repeat training, answering any questions, and forming bonds with your fellow library team members!

Patron Interactions

Occasional friendly chat with coffee shop patrons or friends passing through the library is acceptable, but do not have extended conversations at the desk while you are working unless they are work-related. Our space is small and we need to keep the desk area clear for patrons with questions.

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks

Customer service is the number one priority while at the desk. However, if you are not helping a customer, be sure to check the daily, weekly, and monthly task lists before starting to do homework. The task lists are printed later in this manual. Once you have completed a task, put your initials next to it so other employees will know it has been completed.

Other Tasks and Special Projects

In addition to the daily, weekly, and monthly task lists, you may be asked to help with library events, including:

  • Halloween table
  • LGBTQ+ book night
  • Fanfiction/short story contest
  • Reading challenge
  • National Novel Writing Month write-in
  • De-Stress/pet therapy event
  • Banned Book week
  • Spectrum events
  • International Education Week

If you have additional event ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to Anne or Camille! If you are already working 15 hours/week, you will be able to flex your schedule on event weeks as needed.


You are responsible for clocking in and out of every shift. Do not use a personal device to clock in or out—only log onto Paycor on one of the library computers. If you need to leave the library or take more than a 15-minute break during your shift, you must clock out.

If you forget to clock in or out, you must submit a missed punch request via Paycor (see how-to guide later in this manual). Time cards are due every other Monday, so please submit these requests in a timely manner so your supervisor can modify your time card and approve it before the deadline.


We understand that you are a student first. However, you are also an employee of the Federal Government (via your work study agreement) and the Library. You may work on homework assignments while at the desk, if and only if, you have:

  • Completed all special projects or assignments given by your supervisor or listed in Slack
  • Completed all daily tasks that are regularly assigned or listed in Slack (ie: reshelving books, pushing in chairs, cleaning work spaces, etc.))
  • Checked with your direct supervisor for any additional tasks for the day.

After exhausting this list, you may work on homework. You may use either the library computers or your own personal devices to work on homework. However, you should be present and periodically scanning the area as well as greeting patrons as they arrive. You may not stream or watch videos at any time while at the information desk.


Violation of any of the above behavioral guidelines will result in meetings with your direct supervisor. See the Progressive Discipline section below for more information.

Park University Library
8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 61 - Parkville, MO - 64152
Phone: (816) 584-6285
Toll-free: (800) 270-4347