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Casual Library Assistants Resource Guide: Working with our Clients

Universal Truths of Human Interaction

All people want to be treated with dignity and respect

All people want to be asked rather than told to do something

All people want to be told why they are being asked to do something

All people want to be given options 

All people want a second chance

Telephone Etiquette

Answering Calls

  • Answer with a friendly greeting stating your location and your name. (Example - "Good Afternoon, Murray Library, Joanna speaking").

In case you don’t have the information the caller wants, transfer the phone call to the correct person or take a message

Taking Messages

If the caller prefers to leave a message:

Include the following information:​

  • Caller's name (ask them to spell it if needed)
  • Caller's contact information
  • Nature of the call
  • Your name
  • Name of person that message is for
  • Date and time


Handling Upset Callers

  • Stay calm and listen, upset clients just want to be heard and understood. Try to remain diplomatic and polite. Getting angry will only make them angrier.
  • Offer to have your supervisor talk to the caller or call him/her back.
    • Advise your supervisor of the situation in person or by email, include:
      • Client's contact information
      • Date and time
      • The situation to the best of your knowledge
      • Your name

Assisting with Unattended Children in the Library

Dealing with Disruptions