Standards of Library Customer Service

-From Davenport Public Library

Take responsibility for upholding the confidentiality of records and Intellectual Freedom’s Bill of Rights of all customers

  • Assist customers without questioning reasons for needing specific materials or information.
  • Attempt to select materials representing both sides of controversial issues.
  • Enhance your or others’ understanding of intellectual freedom issues by attending workshops, reading articles and sharing information gathered.
  • Maintain customer confidentiality regarding personal information requests or borrowing information. What is said here, stays here.

Take responsibility for knowing, understanding, and correctly implementing library policies

  • Know and follow library policies
  • Handle complaints with dignity, poise and an open mind. Notify the supervisor when appropriate.
  • If not sure about a policy, make a point to get the correct answer.
  • Consistently and in a timely manner, read minutes of meetings, memos, and other communications.
  • Learn technology needed for your job duties – that helps you serve the public or staff more effectively and keeps you up-to-date in new technology.

Take responsibility for being at your workstation when scheduled

  • Be ready to begin work activities at your scheduled arrival time.
  • Allow time for transition of duties at shift change.
  • Complete your work shift before preparing to leave.

Take responsibility for creating a cooperative work environment

  • Work actively to blend differing work styles of staff for fair and courteous treatment, cooperative problem solving and conflict resolution.
  • Be flexible in adapting to scheduling, work loads, and work flow.
  • Offer assistance or instruction to improve a co-worker’s skills, and tactfully offer the correct information to that person.
  • Make a positive contribution to working out solutions. Seek and provide assistance to others by offering suggestions or alterations, as the situation warrants.
  • Complete assignments on time, offering assistance to those who might need help in meeting their commitments.
  • Communicate an impending missed deadline to those who may be affected.
  • Ask for further clarification if instructions are unclear to you.

Take responsibility for exhibiting respect for all customers and co-workers.

  • Acknowledge customers and co-workers equally, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, disability, age, ancestry or any other characteristics.
  • Be non-judgmental about a person’s abilities in literacy, cultural literacy or technical skills.
  • Serve all customers and co-workers by providing equal access to all services and information.

Take responsibility for helping create a welcoming atmosphere in the Library

  • Greet all customers and co-workers politely, pleasantly and sincerely.
  • Immediately look up when customers or co-workers approach and greet them warmly.
  • Acknowledge frequent customers.
  • Smile and make eye contact with customers and co-workers.
  • Maintain a friendly manner with all customers and co-workers.
  • Informally check with customers and offer assistance as appropriate.

Take responsibility for making each customer’s call or visit to the Library a high quality experience

  • Be aware of customers needing assistance.
  • Even if busy assisting another customer, indicate to a waiting customer by voice or manner that someone will be with them as soon as possible.
  • Immediately end conversations with co-workers when a customer approaches or when a telephone rings.
  • When encountering a waiting customer, even if you are “off desk/off the floor” or are not a staff member of that workgroup, go out of your way to assist.
  • Use techniques that allow you to juggle the demands of customers needing assistance at the same time.
  • During very busy times, calmly and easily handle multiple demands while maintaining quality service.

Take responsibility for correctly meeting the needs of customers and co-workers (both informational needs and the need to physically access materials)

  • Answer general questions relating to other workgroups, but never “guess” at an answer.
  • Utilize other co-workers for assistance if unable to answer a question.
  • Cite sources of information given to a customer.
  • When appropriate, contact sources outside the Library or provide a reasonable referral.
  • When uncertain about the answer to a question, follow through by acquiring the correct answer or procedure so that you will be prepared if asked the same question in the future.
  • Assist customers or co-workers who ask for help in physically accessing materials.
  • Take the initiative to practice using computers, software, other equipment or materials, so that you are able to assist a customer when asked.
  • Use creativity and initiative in finding answers or solutions to difficult requests.

Take responsibility to verify with the customer or co-worker that their needs have been met

  • Check with the customer or co-worker and ask “Has your question been fully answered?” or “Have you found what you were looking for?” etc.
  • Rephrase a request or question back to the customer or co-worker so that both of you are in agreement as to what is needed.
  • Follow through with customers or co-workers to determine whether the assistance you provided was useful.
  • If the assistance you provided a customer or co-worker was not useful, persist in helping the person until a successful resolution is achieved.

Take responsibility to avoid communicating personal value judgments when interacting with customers or co-workers

  • Provide assistance without communicating negative judgments about the customer or the question.
  • Do not offer unsolicited negative comments to customers.
  • Do not express negative opinions about customers or co-workers at any time.

Take responsibility for providing service to the public above personal activities or interests

  • Try to minimize the time you spend taking care of personal business at the library.

Take responsibility for being knowledgeable, courteous and responsive communicating by telephone, OPN, e-mail, or fax and in speaking and/or writing

  • Be efficient and courteous when using the telephone and be responsible for directing callers to someone who can answer their questions.
  • When responding to a patron’s call that is taking longer than anticipated, offer to return the call, getting their name and phone number. If the customer prefers to be placed on hold, check back with them frequently.
  • Be knowledgeable about the features of the telephone system.
  • Check your e-mail at least twice a day.
  • Respond in a timely manner, even if it’s only to say “I’ll think about it”.
  • Respond in a friendly manner.
  • Use correct grammar.
  • Sign (or initial) and date all correspondence.

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