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Decatur Campus Student Employee Guide: Circulation Desk

Working the Circulation Desk

  • Telephone & Messages
    • If the phone rings while you are speaking with a patron and no one else is around to answer, excuse yourself to answer it. 
    • When answering the service desk telephone or any work phone, please begin by introducing the university and department:
      • For example: "Georgia State University, Decatur Campus Library; how may I help you?"
    • Be ready to take a message or transfer the call. Give messages to your supervisor.
      • To transfer a call, hit the button above which "Transfer" is displayed. Dial the appropriate extension and hit transfer once more.
    • If you cannot answer a question, excuse yourself and find your supervisor or someone who can. 
    • If there is no one to help, take down the patron's name, contact information (email and phone number), and the inquiry and leave a note for your supervisor. You may also provide the user with a business card for the appropriate personnel. Business cards are located at the circulation end of the service desk and in a desk drawer. Ask a staff member if you need help locating extra business cards. 
    • Get as much information from the person on the phone as you can. 
  • Homework
    • Homework or outside work should be limited while at the desk. Do not engage in any outside work that demands focused concentration (such as timed tests). 
    • When you are at work, your main priorities are working the desk, helping patrons, and completing the job duties you have been assigned. 
    • Group work with other students should not be done while you are at work. 
  • Texting/Cell Phones
    • If you need to make a quick personal call, let your supervisor know. Please excuse yourself to the work room. Only do so when you are not helping a patron. 
    • Texting should be limited and should not interfere with patron service. Be aware at all times of what is going on in the library. 
    • Cell phones should be put away when a patron approaches the desk. 
    • Cell phones should not be left unattended on the service desk. 
  • Headphones & Sound
    • Headphones are not permitted while working at the service desk. 
    • Sound should be turned off of the service desk computer on which you are working. 
  • Internet
    • While working at t​he service desk, some tabs you should have open:
      • Alma
      • Study room reservations
    • It may also be helpful to open:
    • Visiting non-work-related sites while at the service desk should be done only when not helping patrons. If a patron approaches, all sites that do not relate to work should be minimized or closed. 
  • Work Area
    • ​Keep the desk area clean and clutter-free.
    • Please make sure any personal belongings are not in the way. 
    • Make sure someone is available to take over desk duties before you log off of the computer. 
  • Patron Statistics & Gate Count
    • Please track any questions you are asked or assistance you provide to patrons at the service desk through the Patron Transaction Form.
    • Gate count numbers need to be recorded on the service desk. The times for recording gate count are listed on the sheet.


Customer Service

  • You are the first person a patron will see, so make a positive impression. 
  • Look up, smile, greet patrons, and find out if you can help. 

Stay Alert

  • Be aware of what is happening around you and in the library. 
  • Report any inappropriate behavior to your supervisor.
  • Do not let patrons wander behind the desk or into staff areas unescorted.

Patrons Come First

  • Your first priority while working at the library is helping those who visit the library.
  • Look up frequently from any work you are doing. Make sure you make yourself available to help anyone who needs guidance or assistance.
  • If you cannot help a patron, find someone who can or take a message. Don't forget the business cards which are located at the circulation desk.


  • Notify your supervisor of any disturbances or call campus police if necessary.
    • From a cell phone: 404-413-3333 
    • From a work phone: 84-33333
  • If a situation or patron makes you uncomfortable, excuse yourself and find a supervisor.
  • In an emergency, call the police. 


While working for the GSU library, you will come into contact with personal and confidential student information. It is a violation of Georgia State University policy and, in some cases, state and federal law, to reveal such information to others. 

 Georgia State University's Employee Handbook states:

  • 1003.5 Confidentiality and Personal Information

Employees should not post any material that would infringe on the intellectual property or privacy rights of the University or others. This applies to confidential or proprietary information belonging to the University, including personal information pertaining to students, employees, or alumni. Employees should adhere to all applicable University privacy and confidentiality policies as well as State and Federal laws.

  • 1003.5a Social Media Referencing

Employees should not reference or cite Georgia State University faculty, staff, students, donors, etc. without their express consent.