Starting August 6th, we will have new guidelines for student use of computers at the front desk. Since this is a shift from what has been our normal policy down here, we want to explain our reasons for doing this, which are twofold:
First, our location (behind the walls of the reserve area) makes accessibility difficult for patrons. Patrons are much more comfortable approaching an open desk where they can see a friendly, welcoming staff person. Already working at the disadvantaged position of being hard to see, your focus on the computer screen (while intently surfing or typing) becomes even more of a barrier as patrons are not likely to â€œbotherâ€? staff workers who exhibit â€œclosedâ€? behavior (such as looking busy at a terminal).
While university-related and other resource and research sites are okay for the casual browse, answering email, participating in chats, or engaging in discussion groups online ( FaceBook, MySpace-type blogging community), take attention away from your principal role at the desk: which is as a customer service representative for the library. Your primary goal is to appear welcoming and to make eye contact with each passing patron. This is an important role and you donâ€™t want anything to distract you from it.
Secondly, this is simply a library wide-policy which has not, until now, been enforced properly. Itâ€™s our responsibility to bring ourselves in line with the rest of the library departments.
Students please comment that you have read this post.