Minutes of December 8, 2005 meeting

Paul Young, Marc Forster, Michele Tokar(recorder), Dave Warner, Mike Mansouri, Gillian Newton, Adam Wolfson, , Shawn Moriarty, Krista Dandurand.
Matt Spaventa, Katie Anderson, Joyce Watson, Meghan Lord, Kevin Conover, May Chin


1. Information Sharing

Alex - Alex began 24 hour opening on 12/14. These extra extended hours will continue through 12/22.
Gill and Rose have been busy making schedules for the extended openings plus changing daily schedules to accommodate students having to call out for finals and others wishing to sub for them.
Reserves is very busy, mainly with winter and spring lists.
Circulation and Collection Management are also very busy with large volumes of book returns.
RDS has less requests but lots of mail to handle.

Camden - Circulation just got real quiet with the end of classes. There are many book returns. Camden is in the process of working out the procedures for reserving a group study room and checking the key out to the students at circulation (treating it like a 2 hour reserve item).

Chang - Nicole started as Acting Supervisor of Chang. They had a book theft the other day. The books were found at the Co-op.

Chemistry - The Chemistry Library had problems with the heating system but it was fixed already. The Chemical Abstracts project is moving rapidly. Everything else is fine.

Gov Docs - ALEX: Shifting to create space for recent Congressional Documents. LSM: Paul Young is studying the manual on how to shelve maps at LSM.

Kilmer - Kilmer has set up a 24 hour hold shelf for patrons who come to the desk without a card or need to clear up fines before checking out a book. Kilmer recently discussed relocating their temp shelves. Eventually, they will be located behind the Circulation Desk.

LSM - The front doors were found open 2 days in a row.
LSM received a large shipment of donated books for the book sale from the Chang library. Dave Warner is working with Jackie Mardikian to coordinate group orientations for UMDNJ.

2. Customer Service Training/Circulation Training

CFG members shared their thoughts on what they thought the core competencies of customer service/circulation training should be:

These were some of the technical recommendations that were made

There were some of the customer service recommendations:

The most basic element of customer service is also the most important aspect of circulation: acknowledging the patron. When someone approaches the desk, one should be ready and willing to help. This should be communicated to the patron through a smile, eye contact, a simple hello. I've seen many examples of students getting very absorbed in their computers and not being aware when someone is waiting at the desk We have to answer many directional questions, also need to know the basics of rds, billing and reserves. I also think weekend/evening staff may need to have a wider basic knowledge as they may not have the relevant supervisors to assist them on site. I think that Customer service training should also include the way to behave when providing excellent customer service, appearing available to patrons so they will come over and ask if they have questions, displaying a pleasant manner (smile) and patience in dealing with them, especially if someone is angry or upset. I feel this is just as important as the mechanics of the job.

As a great philosopher said " I do not know what I do not know". The service desk person needs to develop this kind of attitude to successfully address the wide range of questions they are faced with at the circulation counter. Too many people react to questions with any answer that comes to their head, regardless of whether it is the right answer, or even close to the correct answer. Excellent service can only be delivered when the worker is humble enough to admit they do not know something, and are willing to ask appropriate staff for assistance. In many cases, familiarity with the Library "desktop" can help the service person find the answers they seek.

I would also add answering the phone and directing the caller to the right place as a core competency.
What about general knowledge of the building. Departments, locations, water fountains, how to buy a copy card. Where is the computer
lab? This seems like an unwieldy category, but I think our service desk is where most of these questions are asked.

Next meeting Thursday January 19th 2:30 at the Kilmer Library Media room

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/circ_group/minutes/circ_group_05-12-08.shtml
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