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Library Student Employee Training: Customer Service

Customer Service Guidelines

I. Greet visitors and make them feel welcomed.

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to showcase the College and the Library. To create a welcoming and positive work environment, we will...

  • Be visible, approachable, and ready to assist.
  • Be professional in language and etiquette.
  • Watch for visitors who need help.
  • Actively listen to the visitor's question.
  • Acknowledge waiting customers.

II. Respect cultural and other personal differences

Library staff serves an inclusive community with customers who come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, practices, generations, and languages. To show respect for personal differences library staff will ...

  • Respect personal space and visitor's privacy
  • Display neutrality regardless of topic or request.
  • Be patient with customers who need additional assistance and provide services to meet their individual needs.
  • Recognize unique needs that will impact how the service is delivered (e.g. disability, status, affiliation, English skills, etc.

III. Evaluate and clarify a visitor's expectations

Library Staff strives to fully understand our visitor's questions and needs. To best understand their needs, we will...

  • Allow a visitor to finish a thought before responding.
  • Ask clarifying or open ended questions about the visitor's information/resource needs.
  • Request additional assistance in necessary.
  • Do not ignore complaints, acknowledge them and suggest next steps. (i.e. refer to supervising staff member or Library Director).

IV. Thank and verify that questions have been answered

Library staff take responsibility to ensure that visitor's expectations have been met. To verify needs have been met...

  • Verify that the question has been answered in full; however, if the visitor's question cannot be answered in full, let them know what is possible and why.
  • Encourage visitors to return if they need more assistance.
  • Ask if there is anything else you can help with.
  • Provide contact information if visitor has additional questions.
  • Thank the visitor for using the Library.



Courtesy University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library

Confidential Information

Booth Library is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of those who use our library materials, spaces, and services.

It is the ethical responsibility of library employees to protect the privacy of library patrons. According to the American Library Association Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records, "Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed , acquired, and includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services."

Student Employees who are asked to disclose confidential circulation records should immediately refer the question to the Library Director.

American Library Association (ALA) Code of Ethics

"The ALA Code of Ethics translates the values of intellectual freedom that define the profession of librarianship into broad principles that may be used by individual members of that profession as well as by others employed in a library as a framework for dealing with situations involving ethical conflicts."

1. Libraries provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

2. Libraries uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

3. Libraries protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

Click Here for the full list of ALA Ethics.