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Learning Commons Manual & Resources

Consistency is key

When answering a phone call, say:

“Lone Star College-Kingwood Library, this is _____.”

Do not answer with simply saying “hello.” You want to make sure the caller knows that they got the right number.

Smile when talking on the phone

The tone of voice should be friendly and sound motivated to help the caller. Smiling helps influence the sound of your voice. Words and inflection are important as body-language are in face-to-face encounters.

Never interrupt

This can be hard but listen to the whole problem (no matter how long it takes). It's important for the caller to be heard and feel like they are being taken care of.

Keep them informed

Minutes on a phone can feel like a lifetime, especially while on hold. Communicate what you are doing so that they know that you are working to get them the answers they need. If they have been on hold for a few minutes, update the caller so that they know you haven't forgotten about them.

Hold and transfer buttons are your friend

If you do not know the answer to the questions, direct the patron to someone who will.  You can say:

"I don't know the answer to your question, but let me find out... I'm going to put you on hold while I get more information for you." 

  1. Put the person on HOLD to ask someone else at the service desk. It creates a professional appearance to those seeking answers.
  2. If you need to redirect the answer to someone, look up the contact information, give the patron the contact information in case they get disconnected, and TRANSFER to the person or department that can answer the caller's question. 

Ending a call

Ask the caller if there are any other questions before letting them go, be clear that you are terminating the call. Invite them to call back if they have any questions in the future. 

Dealing with difficult calls

We get calls from people in heightened emotional states. Many times they are upset and frustrated over a process or lack of answers provided elsewhere. Do not tell them to calm down. Instead, be a sympathetic listener and do what you can to help the caller get the answers they need.

Do not engage in bad behavior if the caller is abusive or rude you do not need to tolerate that behavior. Communicate to the caller that you are ending the call due to their offensive behavior and report the incident to your supervisor.


Bucki, James. "Professional Phone Etiquette: How You Greet a Customer on the Phone is Important for Business." The Balance: Small Business, 11 Feb. 2019, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/professional-business-phone-etiquette-2533549
Rivera, Andreas. "Customer Service 101: Phone Etiquette for Small Businesses." Business News Daily , 18 July 2018, https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6444-call-center-phone-etiquette.html

Pick up the phone

People read tone into written work, it is easy to misunderstand information. Because of this, it is better to communicate aurally as much as possible.

Reply All

Do not use reply all unless you have been solicited to do so. Take the time to send the message to the right people, not all the recipients. Ask yourself, do all recipients need to see your reply?

Timeliness

Respond to emails in a timely manner while on duty. 

Proofread

We all make mistakes. But too many mistakes and regular grammatical and spelling errors can reflect poorly on you as a professional. Grammarly is a great add-on tool to assist in the proof-reading process.

Subject Line

Make sure sent emails have a clear and concise subject heading. It helps the receiver know what to expect and makes searching for the email later easier.

 

Call before you bring a community member (students, faculty, or staff) to someone's office. That person may be in a meeting that should not be interrupted, away from one's desk, or in need of some downtime during their lunch break. If unavailable, provide the community member with the person's contact information.

  • Please read the signs on the office doors and desk dividers to know if the person is busy or not.
  • Projects that require conversations, use the conference table in LIB 116 or the empty office.
  • Monitor your volume in the Workroom. This is the workspace for Anne, Allison, and Amanda. Please be considerate about conversations and the volume while in their office.
  • Close office doors when you need to have a conversation to not disturb people working in the area.

Make sure that the space is welcoming and the best it can be for our community. To do this, we need you to regularly walk the space and keep an eye on what is going on. Here are some ideas of things that you might want to be cognizant of and may need to be addressed:

  • Check the computers
    • Are they on? Sometimes people shut down the computer rather than log off.
    • Has the computer been abandoned? Log out the user.
    • Does it have a keyboard, mouse, and USB hub?
    • Is there a chair at the station? Is it pushed in?
  • Whiteboards
    • Are there markers and erasers?
    • Is the board clean?
  • Pods and collaborations spaces
    • Are there people in them?
  • Labs
    • Are the people in there respecting the silent individual study?
    • Make sure no one is eating in the labs.
    • Is there an upcoming class (check the room scheduler)? Let the occupants know that they need to relocate.
  • One-Button Studio
    • Is there someone in the room?
    • Has it been reserved?
  • Is there someone in the ADA Tutoring room?
  • Are there abandoned devices on tables and chairs?
    • Monitor to make sure that it is abandoned.
    • Bring it to circulations
    • Circulation will try to contact the owner/borrower or call the police.
  • How many laptops are out? Is the Kiosk working?
  • Are there any tripping hazards that need to be picked up, moved, or some way addressed?
  • Are the print-release stations working?
  • Refill paper trays and staplers

Don't take materials, notes, etc for employees, E.V.E.R.

Forward all phone calls to the full-time employee's phone for the caller to leave a message on their voicemail.

If students seem to have been misdirected/misinformed by a Learning Commons employee:

Most likely a student simply misinterpreted or misunderstood the employee. However, this is a learning opportunity for the team - we can’t change students but we can change how we interact with them. Together, we can try to identify a different tactic for future interactions. In addition, it might become something that everyone on staff can benefit from.

Full-Time Team Member

Please find out who they interacted with and let the supervisor of that person know so they can dig into the disconnect.


If a student complains about a Learning Commons employee*:

Whether the student wants to officially complain or is just “letting someone know,” Kaleigh and the supervisor of the employee need to be informed in case the student complains externally or later comes in to complain again.

*note: we are not talking about difficult student interactions that happen daily in the course of enforcing the policy. We are talking about when a student approaches an employee to make a complaint about another employee.


Complaints about Learning Commons Employees:

Part-Time Team Members:

Bring in a (1) supervisor or (2) FT employee to handle the complaint. If neither is available, fill out the incident report and give it to a supervisor.

Full-Time Team Members:

Student complaints should be recorded on the student incident report.  It should be sent both to Kaleigh and the supervisor. The employee’s name needs to be indicated.

 


LSC-Kingwood Library | Ask Us: Kingwood.Library@LoneStar.edu | Reference: 281.312.1693 | Circulation: 281.312.1691 | LIB 100, 20000 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339