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Service Desk Manual: Desk Responsibilities

At the start of each shift

  • Be sure you are wearing a face mask as library policy (disposable masks are available at each service desk for your convenience).
  • Write your name on the whiteboard easel and place it at the desk.
  • Set up the service desk computer
    •  Sierra application (library circulation system) must be open to check materials in and out.
    • The browser must have three tabs open for work (these are default when opening a new page): LibAnswers, Colby Libraries home page, and the Service Desk LibGuide
    • Login to your Colby Gmail and open Google Chat.
  • Set up the mirroring computer making sure it is awake and logged in. The webpage should be open to the library catalog. If the computer has logged out, use password: MOB.1813. 
  • Check in any materials that were returned from the last shift on the returns cart.
  • Check the printers to see if they need paper or have any errors.
  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to do a patron count (Bixler and Olin).
  • Review the LibGuide - read updates and note who is available on chat during your shift.
  • Add your hours for your shift in WorkDay.

Library Staff Assistant core components

Customer Service

  • Be present. Greet patrons.
  • Be kind and considerate.
  • Be helpful. Help people solve problems.


  • Do not share anyone's information.
  • Do not let people know who has borrowed what materials. 
  • Respect people's privacy and ensure confidentiality. 


  • Track ALL question and interactions at the desk.



  • No food is allowed at the desk
  • You cannot wear headphones or earbuds.
  • You cannot use a laptop. You can use the desktop computer at the service desk. You can use a tablet for reading and writing. You can have your phone available. You may not take calls or use your phone other than for necessary communication.
  • Be sure to keep the desk clear. Do not to have papers and books on the desk when enjoying the privilege to tend to your studies.
  • People not scheduled to work cannot be behind the desk or hangout at the desk.
  • Do not leave the desk other than to quickly go to the bathroom, do a patron count, or assist a patron. When you do so, change the whiteboard sign to read - "be right back".
  • You must log every interaction at the service desk, from "Where is the bathroom?" to "How could I eat a bowl of cereal on the moon?"

Google Chat Schedule


8-10am April Paul   8-10am April Paul
10am-12pm Robin Duperry   10am-12pm Robin Duperry
12-1pm Max Bowman   12-1pm April Paul
1-2pm Gabe Stowe   1-2pm Emma Bailey
2-4pm Emma Bailey   2-4pm Lauren Rettig
4-6pm Lauren Rettig   4-6:30pm John Shamgochian
6pm-1am Jacob Sutherland   6:30-8pm Jacob Sutherland
      8-10pm John Shamgochian
TUESDAY CHAT   10pm-1am Jacob Sutherland
John Shamgochian
8-10am April Paul      
10am-12pm Robin Duperry   FRIDAY CHAT
12-1pm Max Bowman   8-10am April Paul
1-2pm Emma Bailey   10am-12pm Robin Duperry
2-4pm Gabe Stowe   12-1pm April Paul
4-6pm Lauren Rettig   1-2pm Gabe Stowe
6-8pm Jacob Sutherland   2-8pm John Shamgochian
10pm-1am Jacob Sutherland
John Shamgochian
WEDNESDAY CHAT   10am-12pm Chanelle Campbell: 203-260-8881
8-10am April Paul   11:30am-8pm John Shamgochian
10am-12pm Robin Duperry      
12-1pm Max Bowman   SUNDAY CHAT/PHONE/TEXT
1-2pm Gabe Stowe   10am-2pm Chanelle Campbell:
2-4pm Lauren Rettig   2-6pm Anthony Bundock:
4-6pm Max Bowman   6-8pm Jayla Moss:
6-8pm John Shamgochian   8-1am Jacob Sutherland
8-10pm Jacob Sutherland      
10pm-1am Jacob Sutherland
John Shamgochian

How to turn on chat on in Gmail:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings. View all settings.
  3. At the top, click Chat and Meet.
  4. Next to “Chat,” to turn Chat on or off in Gmail, select Google Chat to turn chat on.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Collecting Library Statistics

Patron Count: Every hour, count the number of patrons that are using the library and write it on the patron count log at the desk. At Bixler and Olin Libraries, the person at the service desk is responsible for the count. At Miller Library, the stacks worker is responsible for the count.

Questions: Log every question asked at the service desk into LibAnswers:

  1. Select "ASK US" or "Libanswers"
  2. At the top of the screen choose "REF ANALYTICS"
  4. Fill in the Q & A sections at the top as well as the answer you provided.
  5. Make your selections in each of the blue boxes
  6. Submit

If the LibAnswers page isn't open when you start your shift, click the LibAnswers Record Transactions icon on the desktop.

Log in: Miller login - / password:miller04901

            Bixler login - / password: bixler5660

            Olin login - / password: numbers1

Count use: Books found in library public spaces need to be scanned in Sierra (library circulation system) by choosing count use from the drop down menu and scanning the items barcode before it is added to the shelving cart. This is done to record that the item has been used in the library, rather than checked out.

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