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Library Student Assistants: Expectations

Library Policies


  • Treat all patrons as you wish to be treated.
  • No patron should ever leave the library without the information or item they came to get. At the very least, they need a contact person who can answer their question if you cannot. See the library staff list if necessary.
  • Always wear your name tag when working.
  • Do not have your friends behind the Circulation Desk or in library staff work areas when on duty.  Only student workers/staff should be in staff work areas.  


Phone/Device Usage: 

  • Answer library phones politely.  You should say “Charles C. Myers Library. This is Your Name.  May I help you?”  (or something similar).
  • Do not make or receive personal calls while working, except in an emergency.
  • Headphones are not permitted for students working with the public (ie. Circulation Desk).
  • Personal laptops/tablets/smartphones should not be used at the Circulation Desk and should be on silent in the library. Refer to your supervisor regarding personal device usage in other work areas.
  • Do not save personal documents (ie. class papers) on staff computers. Use a flash drive if you need to save files

Difficult Patrons

  • If a patron becomes angry or rude, please be calm.
    • If available, ask supervisor to help patron. 
    • If supervisor is not available, suggest that the patron return at a time when your supervisor is in, during regular business hours. 
    • Explain that you are a student assistant and that you are not authorized to change a policy. 
    • If the patron becomes unmanageable or exhibits dangerous or threatening behavior, call Security (#3333). If you feel uncomfortable in any way, call Security. (#3333)


  • All library records are confidential, as per the Iowa Code (Iowa's law).
  • You may not legally tell a patron who has the book(s) they need. You may only tell him or her that the material is checked out and when you expect it back. 
  • Do not allow anyone to check out material on a different patron’s library account.
  • It is also illegal to tell a professor who has checked out his or her reserve materials.  Never discuss patrons or their questions outside the library, or in the library with anyone other than a supervisor.

Dress Code

  • Dress in normal good taste.  What is “appropriate” is left up to the discretion of the supervisor.  However, short halter tops, extremely short skirts or shorts, and/or swimming suits are not professional.  Shoes and shirts should always be worn.
  •  Smoking or tobacco products are not allowed in the library. This includes vaping. 

Public Services

When at the desk:

  • Use the upper computer and greet patrons as they enter.
  • If you are alone, do not leave the desk, except briefly, if you need to help a patron at the photocopier or computers or to use the restroom. This includes getting food on campus.
  • Only Student Assistants and full-time staff are allowed behind the Circulation Desk.  Patrons should not be helping you with homework, etc.
  • If there is more than one student working, only one student should be behind the desk.  The other student should be working on assigned duties away from the desk (shelving, pulling library materials , etc.)