Public Service Policy and Procedures


Policy Statement

As employees of Trexler Library, whether professional or student staff, it is our primary obligation to diligently provide courteous, consistent, professional and unbiased service to any user working within the library context, either physically or virtually. All efforts will be made to provide prompt attention to needs and to proactively guide users through the information seeking and usage processes. While the library recognizes and encourages the freedom of expression and intentional learning, it is our public service policy that the services provided should not be influenced by our personal agendas.

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of the Public Services Policy is to provide guidance to all employees regarding the Library’s standards of behavior, service, activity, and outreach when providing services at the library.


Purpose of Procedures

The public service procedures have been developed to provide a guide for employees and library users with regard to behavior and activities that may occur when working in the public service capacity.  


General Services

  • In all instances, when assigned to public services stations within your workday, users’ needs will take precedence over other activities. Staff at public service stations will make appropriate attempts to acknowledge users in a friendly manner and will actively offer support when it is deemed that a user may need assistance.
  • Recognizing that the library holds a unique obligation to users from within the Muhlenberg College community, and to users of the greater public, the public service staff will provide service without regard to status and in keeping with the governing policies.
  • In no case will a user of the library be expected to wait for service when a public service staff member is engaging in personal activities such as studying, using web services, or engaging in non-work related discussion.
  • It is recognized that “windows of opportunity” arise when reshelving books, walking from one area of the library to another, etc. As time allows, public service staff will provide services to the user and, when appropriate, will approach users to see if they need assistance.
  • Public services staff will refrain from wearing clothes, buttons, jewelry, etc. that espouses a particular belief, political bias, that adversely influence a user’s comfort in requesting services. A staff member wearing such an item may be asked to remove it for their public service shift. In no case will items be removed from an individual’s possession.

Telephone/Electronic Service Procedures

  • When serving at a public service station every attempt will be made to answer the phone promptly. When answering the phone the staff member will include, “Trexler Library, XXX desk”, for example, “Trexler Library Circulation Desk.”, in their greeting.
  • Employees of the Trexler Library should include their contact information in a signature file of their e-mail account that indicates their role at the library as well as appropriate contact venues. Students, temporary help, and volunteers should clearly indicate their affiliation if using Trexler Library in their signature plates. For example, Joe Smith, Volunteer at Trexler Library. In no correspondence should it be implied that the person is a full-time employee of the library.
  • Employees will recognize that there are many formats of communication and there are likely some that are not yet discovered. Where appropriate employees will distribute guidelines to the staff that govern appropriate procedures for dealing with the new formats.

Appearance and Presence

  • It is our responsibility to present a presence whereby users feel able to ask any type of question. Appearance and behavior should be considered in this light.


Approved by the Library Committee -- September 2007