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Student Employment at the Library: Student Assistant Handbook

Welcome

Welcome aboard. We are glad to have you on the staff of the library. You are a great asset to the library because we could not operate the library without your help.  You may be surprised to learn that your job here can be an asset to you, too.  You will not only gain work experience, but learn how to use the library effectively in other areas of your life.  This manual provides you with general information about your job and about library policies.  Please let us know if you have any questions after you have read this manual.  Campus wide employment policies are available from Human Resource. Visit http://hr.mst.edu/ for more information. We look forward to working with you.

Roger Weaver
Director of Library Operations and Scholarly Communications

Our Mission

In support of teaching and research, Library and Learning Resources acquires, organizes, and curates scholarly collections, and provides library service and instruction in a community space that is conducive to study and collaboration.

Our Values

The library will encourage learning, inquiry, and creativity for all members of the S&T community. We will empower our community to create new knowledge by advancing student success, supporting research and teaching, and increasing diverse voices.

  • support for academic programs and lifelong learning
  • fiduciary responsibility
  • campus collaboration and shared resources
  • inclusive community space
  • employees as vital resources
  • collegial work environment where we celebrate the success of others

Benefits of Working in the Library

  • flexible hours
  • valuable work experience
  • learning to be an important part of an organization
  • expanded knowledge of library use

Basic Job Expectations

  • Reliable Attendance
  • Arrive on time
  • If you are ill, notify us
  • Initiative
  • Do priority work first
  • Perform additional tasks
  • Offer suggestions for improvement
  • Positive & Respectful Attitude
  • Accept assignments willingly
  • Cooperate with others
  • Contribute to a pleasant work environment
  • Adherence to Library Policies and Procedures
  • Read and follow all library and campus policies and procedures
  • Always consult your supervisor before making exceptions to general policies
  • Never discuss confidential library matters with non-staff
  • Computer passwords must be kept confidential
  • Good service
  • Always provide good, positive service
  • Be available and offer assistance
  • Always be pleasant

General Information

Hiring and Employment Eligibility

Student assistants are hired for their interest in library work, their ability and interest in helping people, attention to detailed work, technical skills, as well as their reliability and willingness to take responsibility and assist in the smooth running of the library.

Any candidate for a degree who meets the number of registered hours required may be hired as a student assistant:
Undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 6 hours per semester.
Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 9 hours per semester.

Continuing students employed during the summer must be registered for either a minimum of 3 hours for the summer semester or for the required number of hours for the following fall term. 

Students who have not registered for classes or have graduated and are not actively continuing coursework with the University may not be hired and may not continue as student assistants. Individuals who are not admitted as degree-seeking students, including community members and spouses of students, may not be hired as student assistants.

Hours Worked

Student assistants are restricted to no more than 20 hours and no less than 10 hours per week when classes are in session. During intersessions and summer semester, student assistants may work longer than 20 hours per week as long as their yearly weekly average does not exceed 28 hours.

Work Schedules

Student assistants and supervisors will work together in creating work schedules. When creating schedules, student assistants should be mindful of their class schedule, needed study time, and other personal activities in order to ensure a workable schedule. Student assistants are expected to adhere to their work schedule. Schedule changes require advance notification and approval. Any break from scheduled work time must be approved by your supervisor.

Attendance and Punctuality

Student assistants are expected to report to work on time for every scheduled shift. If unable to work due to an illness or an emergency, or likely to be late to work, a student assistant must notify their supervisor as soon as possible before the shift begins. Student assistants are expected to make every effort to plan academic, personal, and work schedules that do not conflict. Potential conflicts should be discussed well in advance with supervisors. Tardiness and failure to provide adequate notice of absence (as determined by the supervisor) are considered grounds for disciplinary action. Requests to make up hours missed cannot be guaranteed. 

Time Off

Requests for time off should be made with as much advance warning as possible (at least 1 week). Your supervisor will evaluate your request and determine if the time off will be granted.  These requests should be submitted to your supervisor.

Requests to make up missing hours will be accommodated when possible. Making up missed hours is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of your supervisor.

Do not place the job above studies. Request time off in advance if additional time is needed for study or class projects.

Documenting Work Time

Student assistants are required to document time worked electronically using a university provided time keeping system. Deliberate falsification of time worked by any student assistant is grounds for dismissal. 

Time must be entered on the day worked. Failure to do so is subject to disciplinary action.

Job assignments, Performance and Training

Student assistants are expected to complete the work assigned to them. Failure to perform assigned job duties is considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to termination of employment. 

Work is assigned based on the project needs. All work assignments are determined at the discretion of the supervisor. 

Student assistants are expected to maintain an acceptable level of job performance at all times by striving to achieve a high level of quality and accuracy.  

Student assistants are expected to be familiar with and follow all policies and procedures. If clarification and/or additional information are needed, students are encouraged to seek guidance.

Training will be provided to aid in job performance. Student assistants are required to take advantage of all training opportunities, ask questions if something is unclear and work with other team members and supervisors to solve problems and acquire new skills.

Curiosity and innovation are also encouraged. Student assistants should feel free to make suggestions and explore new and better ways to solve problems and perform their duties.

Office Etiquette

The library is a place of business.  As such, certain common-sense guidelines should be observed to maintain a work atmosphere.

Visitors

Friends and/or loved ones are not allowed in the work area.  Lengthy chats at the service desk, in the stacks, or elsewhere in the library while on duty are also not acceptable.

Computer Use

Computers provided by the library are for work related tasks. All computer use must comply with the University Computing and Network Acceptable Use Policy found at http://it.mst.edu/policies/network-acceptable-use-policy/. Student assistants should utilize the computers and equipment provided in the campus Computer Learning Centers for their personal and study needs.  

Telephones

Library provided telephones are for office use.  Student assistants should notify their friends and relatives of this fact, and should not expect to use library provided telephones to make regular contact with them while working.  With the permission of their supervisor Student assistants may use the phone in 102B to make emergency calls while on duty.

Personal Electronic Devices

Personal electronic devices such mobile phones, tablets, etc. may only be used at the discretion of the supervisor. This privilege may be revoked if the supervisor determines it is having a negative effect on work performance or patrons are not being helped in a timely manner. Personal use of headphones, personal laptops, including the use of library laptops, mobile phone, tablets, etc. are not allowed at the service desk.

Mobile phones must be kept on silent or vibrate, and may not be used while clocked in to make outgoing calls. Student assistants should advise their friends not to make social calls or texts to them while they are at work. Incoming calls or texts may be answered but are subject to a two minute limit. For longer conversations student assistants must ask the supervisor for permission to leave the work area and may be asked to clock out. 

Food and Drink

Drinks are allowed in work areas including the service desk as long as they are covered to prevent spillage. Eating at the service desk is not allowed. Eat all other snacks and meals in the break room.

Appearance and Attire

Student assistants are expected to dress in an appropriate manner while on the job and project a professional attitude and appearance to the public and their peers. We expect all student assistants to adhere to good standards of personal appearance and hygiene. Clothing should not restrict or limit your ability to work. All clothing should be neat and clean and undergarments are not to be exposed. Footwear must be worn at all times.
 
The following items are not considered to be appropriate work attire:

  • Bandanas, visors, hats, caps, head scarves or other head attire (unless they are being worn for medical or religious reasons)
  • Spaghetti strapped tops, tube tops, halter tops or muscle shirts
  • Bare midriffs
  • Extremely short shorts or miniskirts
  • Pajama-type pants
  • Clothing with offensive words or pictures
  • Ripped or torn clothes

 
Additional policies regarding appropriate attire are left to the student supervisors’ discretion. Supervisors have the authority to send students home to correct hygiene or attire issues.

Social Interaction

Social interaction with coworkers is permitted, however it should not impact performance. Talking should be kept at acceptable levels and should not interfere with work or disturb others. 

Off-Duty

When not clocked in for work, student assistants may use the office area for keeping coats, books, etc.  Visits for this purpose must be brief and made without disturbing the others.   Please do not keep anything in the library that you will need when the building is closed.

Studying

During work hours, student assistants are required to perform their work assignments. Homework, reading and other personal work may be permitted at the discretion of your supervisor.

Communication

Teamwork and effective service depend upon good communication.  The following tips will help:

Make sure you understand specific tasks.  Please ask questions.
Respond promptly to all library e-mails.
Read library web pages, guides and blogs regularly to be aware of any new policies, information, or problems.
Keep your supervisor informed of your task progress.
Encourage patron questions.  If you are uncertain of answers, refer patrons to other employees, leave a written message for the appropriate person, or schedule an appointment for the patron with the appropriate librarian.
Inform your supervisor of any problems that occur during your shift.
Use sound judgment when making decisions.

Harassment 

Harassment in the workplace is a violation of federal and state laws, as well as university policy.
The university defines harassment as offensive words or behaviors based on one or more protected classes - such as but not limited to race, sex, or religion - that is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive environment.

Harassment is not tolerated and should be reported to your supervisor immediately. Visit Human Resources at http://hr.mst.edu/ for additional information.

Alcohol and Drugs

Working while under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs is forbidden and is grounds for immediate termination. 

Discipline

When student assistants do not comply with policies set forth by the UM System, Missouri S&T, and this handbook, supervisors are responsible for promptly meeting with the student and documenting the offense and corrective action as part of a progressive discipline process modelled on the guidelines laid out in University Policy HR-601. http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/rules/hrm/hr600/hr601.
The process includes a formal verbal warning, a written warning, and is concluded with termination of the student assistant. Some offenses may be of such a degree that immediate termination is warranted.

The progressive discipline process is to be documented and completed documentation will be stored and shared with other supervisors as appropriate.

Profile Photo
Roger Weaver
Contact:
Director of Library Operations and Scholarly Communications
400 W. 14th Street
Curtis Laws Wilson Library
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-4221