E.1.  Decision-making

It shall be the decision-making style of the library staff to use shared or consensus decision-making whenever possible.  Shared decision-making in the library will be construed to mean that anyone affected by a decision will be consulted before the decision is made.  Consensus will be construed to mean that all present for the decision will be able to accept the decision made, and will agree to support it.  The University Librarian’s/Director’s role in shared decision-making shall be as initiator of discussions and issues, leader of debate, and as a peer in consensus taking or decision-making.  If consensus cannot be achieved, it will be the University Librarian’s/Director’s responsibility to make or delegate the decision.

E.2.  Operating Principles

  • Anyone may raise any issue.
  • In most cases, there will be more than one viable option; choices will be made based on which seems most appropriate to mission purpose, goals, policies, long-term strategies and resources of the Campus and the library at the same time.
  •  Decision-making will be conducted in a manner consistent with our library unifying principles, Code of Ethics, and library goals and objectives, and the ISU                  

 Administrative Manual.

  • Decisions may be revised if there is new information.
  • Decisions made using the appropriate process will be supported.
  • Reasons for decisions will be provided.
  • Appropriate assignment of responsibility, timeliness for completion, and process of evaluation will accompany decisions.
  • Each staff member will be provided opportunities to acquire and enhance the skills necessary for effective decision-making.

E.3.  Work Policies

  1. The library will staff all positions in the library with fully qualified people.
  2. Library staff will be encouraged to participate in professional development activities.  Library travel funds will be distributed as equally as possible.  Whenever possible, it will be the policy of the library to send at least one staff member to at least one national or regional conference per year.

 E.4.  Work Expectations

  1.  It will be the policy of the library staff to adopt a “customer first” attitude.  For this reason, we will endeavor to make our patrons welcome, and to serve them promptly, efficiently, and with the highest quality.
  2. It will be the policy of the library to strive to keep the confidential nature of inter staff conflict/s between only those persons affected.  Library conflict which occurs among staff or between staff will be addressed as openly and directly as possible.  It will be the pledge of the staff to strive to address concerns about staff member’s performance, attitude, or behavior first to the person concerned, and then to the supervisor.
  3.  It will be the policy of the library to provide an orientation program for every new staff member.  This orientation will consist of a tour of the library and campus, introduction to library personnel, and the assignment of a mentor from the individual’s unit who will act as adviser for a three month period.
  4. It will be the policy of the library to provide a personal working space for every regular staff member.  This space will be the private space of the staff member.  College equipment provided for the space will be designated for the staff member.However, such equipment and space may be used by other staff members when the need arises.  In such a case, arrangements will be made with the staff member ahead of time.
  5. Each staff member may join the ISU Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA). 

E.5.  Customer Service

Good customer service is not difficult in its basics.  If you treat library patrons the way you yourself would want to be treated you will be on the right track.  Here are a few simple guidelines that will help ensure good customer service.

  • You should be approachable.  You should smile, make eye contact, and give a friendly verbal greeting to library patrons.
  • You should give each library patron your full attention.  You should maintain eye contact and whenever possible accompany patrons to the shelves or other library tools to be utilized.
  • You should carefully interview patrons to determine what information is required or what the difficulty is.  You should ask open, probing questions, should paraphrase the patron’s requests and should clarify your understanding of the request or  problem before beginning a search or offering a solution.
  • You should follow-up whenever possible to be certain that the information provided or the solution offered meets the patron’s needs.  Questions such as “Does this answer your question?” should be asked.

Perhaps the biggest enemy of good customer service is routine.When we assume that this patron is just like the last patron, we are likely to get into trouble.  When we answer the same question for the fourth or fifth time in a day and let our boredom or frustration shows, we are likely to get into trouble.  When we assume that the patron in front of us is not very important or interesting, we are likely to get into trouble.  It is essential that each library patron be treated as a unique individual with questions or needs that we know are important to them.
     Providing good customer service to “really nice people” is the easy part of our jobs.  If that was all that we had to do, we could probably find people who would pay us to work at  the library.  The real test of good customer service is how we deal with angry or difficult patrons.  The following guidelines should help:

  • Remain calm.  Do not give the appearance of being combative but do not appear fearful either.
  • Listen attentively and elicit as much information as you can about the complaint.  Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings of the complainant appropriately.  Nodding often helps.  Not only does this communicate attentiveness to the patron, but also it may help you relax.
  • Be aware of how you are speaking.  Speak slowly and clearly and if you are using a loud tone, lower your voice.
  • Be aware, also, that other library patrons are listening.  People who are not involved will judge what you say to the angry patron.  A demeanor of calm and reason keeps other listeners on the library’s side, and conveys information about library policies.
  • When you understand what the problem is, take some action.  If the patron’s complaint is legitimate, do something immediately to remedy the situation.  If there is nothing that can be done immediately, promise to pass on the patron’s complaint and then do so.  Be certain that the patron understands what you are going to do next and what if anything we expect of the patron. 
  • If you can’t achieve a satisfactory solution to the problem, pass the patron on to your supervisor or to the Administrative Services Manager or the University Librarian/Library Director.

Paying close attention to customer service skills is good for everyone.  More often than not library patrons will be pleased.  That is the whole point of having a publicly supported library in the first place.  Ultimately, pleased patrons translate into more public support and better funding, which is good for the Library and for the people we serve.  When patrons leave happy, you’ll usually feel good as well.  It is a virtuous cycle, and it begins with a greeting and a smile.

Isabela State University

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For more information, please contact:
San Fabian, Echague, Isabela

Office of the President
E-mail Address:
Tel. No: (078) 305-9013
Office of the University Registrar
E-mail Address:
Telephone No.: (078) 323-5368
Human Resource Management Office
E-mail Address:
Telephone No.:  (078) 323-1428

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