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Mary Blissenbach: December 2009 Archives

Appropriate Clothing

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Do you know what the dress code is for work? When you provide customer service do you know what your clothing is saying? If it is scaring the patron, that is a bad thing. In Walter Library, we ask that clothes be clean, neat, and non-offensive. In other words the shirt with a suggestive saying on it is out and considering the physical activity of the job a short, tight skirt or shorts may be out too. Requirements of the University of Minnesota include, no swimming suits and shoes need to be worn at all times. Remember these simple steps and you will be a star at providing excellent customer service.

If you have any questions about this or other customer service issues, please ask a supervisor.

Winter Break Schedule

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The Winter Break Schedule will have a snowy start on Saturday 12/26. The schedule is posted under Staff Stuff so you can check to see when you are scheduled to work.

If you are scheduled to work on Saturday, please take some time to review the details about University closings. The University Librarian's main phone number (612-624-4520) will have a voice-mail message repeating the official closing information.

University Closings

Just a reminder of when to use the Courtesy Copy Card. We get a $10.00 value each month. As of today the card is at $0.00. It is very important that everyone follows the rules. If you have any questions, please ask.

When to use:

If the printer or copier has malfunctioned and the patron lost money:
1. Take the card and go with the patron to the printer or copier
2. Swipe the card and allow them to make the copies they lost or which were bad
3. Return the card to the folder in the cabinet

When NOT to use:

If a patron needs to make prints/copies and does not have a U Card or Copy Card:
1. The patron may purchase a card from the Value Port Machine for $1.00
2. Patron can add value to card in order to print/copy

Things to Remember:

DO NOT GIVE THE COURTESY CARD TO THE PATRON. Always keep the card in your possession.

Do not leave the desk unattended to assist the patron. Get a co-worker or supervisor to watch the desk, or a security monitor if during evenings/weekends.

If you cannot find someone to watch the desk while the patron needs assistance, please call the Reference Librarian at 4-0224 (during staffed Reference Desk hours). They also have a courtesy card and can assist the patron.

If a patron accidentally purchases a card out of the value port machine but all they wanted was to add money to their U Card, we cannot give a refund. Refer the patron to the U Card office.

Our courtesy card has a $10.00 value on it for the period of 1 month. Once the $10.00 is used we do not have any value left for the rest of the month. At the beginning of the next month, it automatically restores the value back $10.00.

Our department is responsible for this card and will be charged if the card is lost.

Report any problems to a supervisor immediately.

This information can also be found at: Courtesy Copy Card


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It's that time again for your weekly customer service reminder! Giving clear explanations to patrons can help score you points. What are these explanations you ask? Here are some examples of what may need an explanation.

Due dates - The difference between Regular Loan, One Day Loan, 2 Hour Loan, 3 Day Loan. This can be confusing to patrons and if we explain it upfront by letting them know when the item is due, it can prevent unhappiness later with fines.

How fines can be paid - Can you clearly explain to a patron what the fine rate is and what forms of payment we accept? If not, you should find out.

What is in the building/campus - Patrons stop at the desk to ask for directions to a room in this building or they may be looking for another building on campus. Use the maps when needed to show where to go in the building or on campus. You can always walk with the patron if you are able too.

A few more items to think about: Difference between collections, what is MLAC, what is a hold or a reserve item?

These are just a few of the many questions that we receive at the desk that need clear explanations. If you have any questions about how you should answer a patron, please talk to a supervisor now. We want you to score well in the Customer Service area.


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Saying "Hi" and "Have a nice day" can make a difference between a good customer service interaction and a bad one. Greetings are another point that the secret shoppers look for when they stop by. Please leave a comment with suggestions and ideas for greetings. How can we welcome our patrons into the library?

Finals Week Schedule

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The finals week schedules are ready to be picked up. You can stop by and grab yours off of the shelf in Mary's office. If you have any questions, please let a supervisor know. Good luck on your finals!

Shelving to Date

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So far since July we have shelved 17,526 items. As you can see from the chart just over half of them are in the books. You have all done a great job in shelving so many items in the past few months. Keep up the great work as the end of the semester returns start.


Name Tags

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It seems that we are missing a number of name tags. Please look though your bag, your stuff at home, your car, etc and bring it back should you find one. Everyone was given a name tag on their first day and you should only be using your own. If yours is missing, please see Mary for a new one.

It is important for staff to wear a name tag when working at the desk or in the stacks, so that you are identified as staff. You may be shelving and a patron can then know to ask you a question. The name tag is a visible reminder of being a worker. This is also one the customer service points that we are checked on.


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