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It’s as Much Fun as
Reading the TiVo Manual
in Spanish
The Spirit Catches You and You
Fall Down
Required reading for an English 102 class
chock full of Millennials!
When I asked a student what he thought of
the book, he said:
“It’s as Much Fun as Reading
the TiVo Manual in Spanish”
What is He Really Saying?
Prefers not to read a long book
Knows what TiVo is
Uses TiVo to personalize his viewing choices
Highly unlikely he’s ever had to read a manual
Reading is not fun, in fact it might be painful
This book is not SPEAKING my language
What Language is Your Library
Millennial or by the Manual?
BIG changes were necessary in
training methods for Circ students
– We knew from LibQual+ comments that
Circulation students had an image problem
– Patron Feedback indicated that
• Circulation students we not perceived as helpful
• In general library patrons ranked service from Circ
students lower compared to high marks in other
public service areas.
Circulation Staff
• Cited an overall need for improved
employee communication
• Circulation staff were looking for ways to
improve communication with student
Hired a Consultant
Major objective: “To create a shared vision of
the ideal library experience by improving
customer service and employee
communication within Carmichael Library”
Through specific workshops to improve
communication competencies (listening,
leading, non-verbal behavior and verbal
strategies), we can improve the flow of
communication as it impacts the shared vision
or “the plan.”
Who is the Consultant
• She is a faculty member at two universities
with current experience teaching
• Teaches Communication Studies
• MFA in Theatre and Speech
• New York acting experience
• Dynamic personality
What Consultant Identified
Based on interviews with the Director and Circulation
Supervisors the Consultant identified a need to address
the following concerns:
▪ Develop a plan to train student employees
• Address behavior and professional decorum
• Project a pleasant attitude and willingness to help at the
circulation desk
• Teach non-confrontational approaches to managing
• Encourage employees to take the lead on projects and
tasks that require attention.
What the Consultant Accomplished
• Alignment: 3 paraprofessionals responsible for
supervising the Circulation students came
together to accomplish a clearly defined mission
• Development : Created an across the board
training program for all library student assistants
• Change Initiator : brainstorming and “out of the
box” thinking was okay: her outsider neutrality
promoted an impartial and serendipitous
Training the Trainers
Consultant Designed and Tailored
a series of Workshops
addressing the concerns of the
paraprofessionals responsible for
training and supervising
Circulation students
Consultant Identified Barriers
• Students did not feel comfortable
approaching supervisors
• Students were unaware of the chain of
• General Memos to all students rather than
addressing specific problems or
individuals was common
• Communication among supervisors was
Barriers (cont.)
• Student assistants did not want or see a
need to ask for help
• Student workers were unclear about the
boundaries between Circulation and
• Too many Rules!
• Professional decorum: The White House
Flip Flop Syndrome
New Training Program : How Does
It Appeal to the Millennial?
Directed Communication program suggested by
the Consultant
• Consistent Message! Now delivered to all
student assistants. Previously Circulation
students were trained by 1 supervisor, 3
supervisors or a senior student assistant or any
combination of the above
• Uses PowerPoint: Previously new students were
given a print handout written in the 80s
New Training Program
• Uses a variety of communication
– PowerPoint
– Lecture
– Active Learning
– Group Learning
New Training Program (cont.)
• Addresses Accountability: new program
will provide mid-semester feedback to
Circulation students on their performance
• Designed to involve students in decision
making process
• Top Down communication via memos will
be replaced by more face to face meetings
to share concerns
New PowerPoint Training
• Designed by the 3 paraprofessionals with
input from the Consultant
• Delivered to students by the 3
• Consultant attended the student training
session to provide feedback to the
Orientation to
Carmichael Library
Presented by:
Ms. Belisle
Mrs. Collins
Mrs. Price
How will I benefit from a
job at Carmichael Library?
Individualized schedules
Training for the future
Inside track on newest Library materials
Generous borrowing privileges (with
Letters of recommendation
What are the different areas
in the Library and what are
their functions?
Technical Services Team
Mr. Heatherly oversees the
library’s subscriptions to
popular magazines,
newspapers and literary
journals. He also assists us by
working in Archives and
keeping up the maintenance
with our online journal
subscriptions. Occasionally,
Mr. Heatherly assists the other
members of the Technical
Services team with the
processing of library materials
such as books and DVD’s.
Collection Development
Mrs. Williams
oversees selection
and management of
the library collection,
which includes
assisting the UM
Faculty in the
ordering process of
library materials. She
also serves as a
Reference Librarian.
What is the Circulation Desk
responsible for?
• Staffing during Library operating hours
• Checking in and out of Library Materials
• Sensitizing and De-sensitizing of Library
• Shelving Library Materials
• Keeping the Library organized
As a library employee, you may have
access to personal information kept by the
When should I contact a
• As soon as you know your schedule or
your obligations are going to change
hours, possible)
Can I swap my hours with
another student worker?
• YOU MUST contact Mrs. Price, Mrs.
Collins, or Ms. Belisle BEFORE you swap
or switch hours with someone.
• IF you are told you need to find someone
to cover your shift for you,
What is Business Etiquette?
• Patrons should always come first
• Give the Patron your full attention and
listen carefully
• Always be courteous
• Greet patrons with a smile and offer your
Visiting with Friends
• Remind your friends that you are at work,
if they stop by the desk.
• A simple “Hello” is acceptable but not
lengthy conversations
• Remember to keep your conversations
with your co-workers to a minimum and in
a soft tone.
Can I access the Internet while at
Yes, for legitimate
Library purposes
Unacceptable practices:
• Playing games
• Entering chat rooms
• Checking sports statistics
• Accessing Face Book
• Accessing personal email
No personal lap tops!
No changing the settings and/or display on the
Telephone Usage
• No cell phones!
• Keep personal
conversations on the
business phone to a
Face to face communication in
Carmichael Library
• Always offer assistance, especially when a
patron looks lost or has a look of bewilderment.
• Remember to stand when offer assistance to
• Do not point—show and/or demonstrate how
something works
• Present yourself in a positive and professional
What can I wear to
work at the Library?
The acceptable and the
The Do’s
The Don’ts
• Pants (dress or casual)
• Dresses or skirts at
reasonable lengths
• Undergarments (not
worn as clothes)
• Shoes must be worn at
all times
• Plain t-shirts or UM
Logo t-shirts
• NO tops with spaghetti
straps (unless the top is
• NO tank tops or muscle
shirts for the guys
• NO short skirts
• NO short shorts
Performance Review
Why am I going to be evaluated?
• Improve performance
• Use as a basis for a letter of
How is my performance evaluated?
All library supervisors
Your co-workers
UM Faculty
When will I be evaluated?
• Mid-Term (8 weeks into the semester)
• End of the semester (the week before
Final Exam begins)
Paula Renzi-Callaghan MFA
[email protected]
Samford University
Department of Communication Studies
(205) 726-4261