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HomeAbout HCLSLibrary PoliciesStaff Code of Conduct

Staff Code of Conduct

Henry County Public Library System

In an effort to make the Henry County Public Library System the best public library with the most effect service to the public, the following Code of Ethics will be instituted.  All performance evaluations will be based on this document.


1.    Staff must provide the highest level of service to all patrons using appropriate resources and accurate, unbiased and courteous responses to all requests. (A smile does wonders for customer relations.) 

2.    Staff will greet every library user, as they approach the circulation desk, in a warm and friendly manner and ask how they may help the library user.  Be alert to patrons who may be just out of your view and who need help.

3.    Library users will be asked to please place their books in the book drop located in the circulation desk.  They will not be TOLD to do this.
4.    Staff members will not yell “Next!” or “I can help someone over here!” or some such other exclamation from one side of the Circulation Desk to the other.  Staff members will walk   to the area where library users are waiting and calmly ask if they can help someone over at the other side of the Circulation Desk. Also, do not just point to items on the shelf, walk the patron over unless you are the only one at the desk.

5.    All library users will be served efficiently and in a friendly manner and staff will thank the library user for using the library when the transaction is ending.  The service will be even and constant for all library users, every day that we are open for business.  Always ask if the patron found what they needed—this is a courtesy that even Publix and Wal-Mart extend to their customers.
6.    The Circulation Desk will not be abandoned so library users have to wait.  There will be times that, due to heavy demand, lines will form at the Circulation Desk.   Staff members will continually monitor the desk. Staff members will not become so engrossed in conversations with other staff members, or so occupied with something that they do not observe library users waiting for someone to assist them at the Circulation Desk. 


7.    Staff members will not pass any information, tell, or make any personal judgment on or about any library user.  These are our customers and are to be treated with courtesy and respect.  If it is necessary, staff members may pass information to other staff members about a library user if the information is pertinent to carrying out the procedures and policies of the Henry County Library.
8.    Staff may not discuss or reveal confidential library information to anyone, under any circumstances, except within the scope of his/her duties.  Patron accounts may not be accessed except for working with the patron who is present or who is on the telephone.  No list of patrons, either with card numbers or without card numbers, may be kept for any reason.

9.    Staff members are to treat their fellow staff members with the same professionalism, courtesy, and friendly manner as we expect to be given to library users.  We work together as a team.  We expect staff to help out their fellow staff member.  Staff members are not to gossip, complain, or be rude to their fellow staff members. 

10.    Staff members are not to demonstrate or show obvious signs of emotion or frustration in reaction to a patron, another staff member, or their supervisor in order to prove a point or to emote what you feel so everyone knows. If you have problems with a patron, let another staff handle him/her. If you are frustrated, angered, or otherwise prompted to give to emotional outburst, control yourself and speak of your concerns in a professional manner to your supervisor in a private location.  Speaking to your supervisor puts into motion the proper chain of events that very well may correct the situation.

11.    Personal lives of staff members are to be left outside the Library.  As with library users, the personal lives and personal actions of library staff is not to be judged or used as the basis of gossip or innuendo with other staff members in the Library; and will certainly not be used to affect service to our library users.  Don’t discuss personal or personnel issues in public areas of the library.  When you are on the clock, your professional obligations take precedence over your personal beliefs.

12.    Negative comments about the Library, library patrons or fellow staff members will not be tolerated.  Issues that a staff member may have are to be discussed with his or her supervisor. Gossiping and complaining to others is counter-productive, spreads bad morale, and creates a negative work environment, which eventually affects the service to library users.  Speaking to your supervisor puts into motion the proper chain of events that will correct the situation.

13.    The Library work environment will be kept in a clean and neat condition so that the appearance of the Library is pleasant and enjoyable for both the library user and staff members.  Staff members are expected to keep the Circulation desk and work areas in a neat, clean, clutter free, state.  Any broken items or damaged areas of the Library and equipment are to be reported to your supervisor immediately.  Litter on floor areas throughout the Library is to be picked up during the day.  Chairs, tables, etc. around the Library that are in disarray are to be straightened.  Books left on ends of shelves, atop shelves, on tables, etc. are to be picked up and placed on the carts.  Book displays and brochure stands are always to be kept filled.
14.    Staff may not advance private interests at the expense of patrons or colleagues.

15.    Staff must distinguish between personal convictions and professional duties and must not allow personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the library’s mission or the impartial provision of access to the library’s information resources.

16.    Staff may not request or permit the use of the library vehicle, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit.

17.    Email use while on desk duty is to be limited to bona-fide library purposes.  Personal emailing should be done with “hotmail” or some other personal account, and only on break and/or meal times.  Staff must be aware that there is no assurance of privacy in any email communication.

18.    Internet “surfing” while on duty is discouraged except in the furtherance of library operations.  Instant Messaging may be used only for inter/intra library communications.

19.    No personal information about other staff may be furnished to non-library persons.

I understand that failure to follow this code of conduct will result in some form of discipline ranging from written warnings up to dismissal.


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