Reference Work

The role of the public service staff

The public service staff encompasses all of the library workers who talk to the patrons, discover their needs and follow up to make sure those needs have been met. This is true for any type of library.

Many people in your own library work to support library service, but the public service staff are the only ones who have direct public contact. No one else in your library has the same influence you have on how successful your library is in meeting the daily information needs of your patrons.

The library staff working directly with the public has the ultimate responsibility for making sure the patrons' information needs are met. This may involve enlisting the cooperation of other library staff and administrators in ensuring that strong emphasis is placed on the library's role in providing information. Everyone in your library works together with the ultimate goal of serving you patrons. Everyone’s work is important and requires a variety of different skills.

Your work with patrons is the only link between the information they need and the work of all other library staff. By using the techniques and behaviors in this manual, you can assure your colleagues that you are being successful in your work to connect patrons to the information they need.

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This page was last updated on August 5, 2003.