Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library West Circulation Department Student Assistants Guide: Home

A guide to the policies and procedures student assistants need to know.


The following Library Guide @ UF pertains specifically to student assistants who work in the circulation department at Library West. If you require further help with this guide, please contact the author.

Student Assistant Job Description

  • JOB TITLE: Circulation Student Assistant
  • JOB SUMMARY: Student assistants within the circulation department are expected to provide guest service both at the circulation desk and throughout the library, enforce library policies, record relevant statistics, and keep the library organized, clean, and uncluttered.
  • REPORTS TO: Night and Weekend Operations Manager; Circulation Coordinator
  • SCHEDULE: Hours vary; days, evenings, and/or weekends.

Minimum Requirements

1. Must be dependable, punctual, detail-oriented, and courteous
2. Must be able to work weekends
3. Ability to manage time and commitments including scheduled work hours
4. Ability to follow detailed instructions
5. Excellent communication skills
6. Computer skills
7. Must be able to lift 25 lbs and push heavy book trucks

Preferred Qualifications

1. Previous experience in any library setting
2. Good database and web searching skills
3. Knowledge of UF Libraries Catalog and databases
4. Comfortable in Windows operating system
5. Ability to work independently once trained

Welcome to Library West

Library West

Library West Student Tasks and Expectations

Student assistants are responsible for the following tasks:

  1. Serve all library patrons courteously and promptly.
  2. Check library materials in and out according to library policies.
  3. Be a responsible steward of patron information by clearing the screen in ALEPH after each transaction.
  4. Answer the telephone promptly and courteously and direct calls to the proper department or staff member.
  5. Answer patrons’ general and directional questions and use the online library catalog to answer questions about library holdings.
  6. Carefully and accurately re-shelve course reserves and collect returned library materials from the book drops at the circulation desk and downstairs.
  7. Monitor the incoming and outgoing security gates and investigate each alarm.
  8. Enforce library policies when comfortable doing so and inform supervisor of violations of policy when not.
  9. Keep a log of statistics as well as of the questions received during each shift.
  10. Perform other tasks as requested by supervisors.


Student assistants are expected to arrive for scheduled shifts both on time and ready to work. Schoolwork, limited socialization, internet browsing, and other non-work activities are permitted only when they do not distract from awareness of patrons and their needs.


Student assistants are expected to make a reasonable effort to remain informed about library policies and services, including but not limited to loan periods, check-out limits, study rooms, course reserves, and the library catalog. While patron assistance is always the highest priority, student assistants are expected to spend the first part of each shift addressing all outstanding work-related correspondence.


Library patrons should be treated as though they are guests in one’s home. Every reasonable courtesy should be extended and a sincere effort to assist with patrons’ goals should be made. Demonstrate how to use the website to search for library materials or renew books. Lead a patron experiencing difficulty locating library materials to the proper section, demonstrate how to operate the movable shelving, etc. Do what it takes to ensure that patrons leave happy!

General Policies

We understand that our student employees are students first and employees second, and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate scheduling conflicts and other needs. That being said, students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines.


When student assistants know in advance that they will be late or absent from work, they should inform a supervisor as early as possible so that necessary arrangements can be made. If a work schedule needs to be amended, temporarily or permanently, student assistants should inform a supervisor as early as possible so that necessary arrangements can be made. Student assistants may swap shifts with the prior knowledge and approval of a supervisor.


Employees who work four consecutive hours are entitled to and should take a 15-minute rest period whenever possible. Rest periods may not be accumulated to extend lunch breaks, arrive late, or leave early. Lunch breaks are either set or approved by a supervisor.


Student employees have the same obligations to maintain the confidentiality of student records as any other employee. Before accessing student records, student assistants are required to take the FERPA Basics training course. When working with student records, student assistants should work cooperatively with supervisors to ensure FERPA compliance. It is always best for student assistants to ask questions and err on the side of caution when dealing with the release of any information. As such, student assistants are never to release any identifying information about patrons. Student assistants are also never to provide personal contact information or work schedules of fellow library staff. Any requests for information about patrons or staff should be referred to a supervisor.


Student assistants are responsible for ensuring that supervisors have current contact information. The University of Florida requires students to monitor their e-mail accounts closely, and as such the circulation department requires the same of its student employees.


Student assistants will interact with a wide range of guests whose sensibilities and sensitivities will vary greatly. As such, students are expected to dress appropriately for a casual, but professional environment, and to avoid wearing strongly scented perfumes, deodorants, and other products. Due to safety concerns, open-toed shoes are not permitted.


The following are required of the University of Florida and its employees:

  1. An employee shall notify his or her supervisor or other appropriate management representative of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction.
  2. The university shall notify any federal contracting agency within ten days of having received notice that an employee engaged in the performance of such contract or grant has had a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation in the workplace.
  3. The university will take appropriate action against any employee who is convicted for a violation occurring in the workplace or will require the employee’s satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.


Use of circulation desk computers for checking e-mail, doing homework, or browsing the internet is allowed as long as it does not interfere with job performance. Use of personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones is also permitted under the same restrictions. Telephone calls should be kept to a minimum and should be made away from the circulation desk.


There are no formal written evaluations for student positions, but each employee’s work performance will be reviewed prior to offering employment for future semesters.


Covered drinks and snacks are permitted and should be kept out of sight and consumed in a tidy manner. Hot entrees, salad, pizza, soup, and other hot, messy, or odorous items must be consumed away from the circulation desk, and ideally, during break periods.


Because UF encourages informal resolution of grievances and complaints, student assistants should first contact their immediate supervisor for help with resolution of any work-related concerns or misunderstandings. Should this type of informal resolution be unsuccessful, student assistants should speak with the next level superior to discuss resolution. If the department is unable to resolve the problem, student assistants may choose to initiate a formal grievance or complaint by contacting the Student Employment Office (Criser Hall, S-107; 352-392-0296;


Student assistants are responsible for keeping an accurate record of hours worked and for updating timesheets on myUFL in a timely fashion. All university employees are paid on a biweekly basis via direct deposit, but federal work study students may opt out of direct deposit if desired. A complete listing of pay period dates and paydays can be found at


If a student assistant wishes to end his or her employment for any reason, a supervisor should be informed at the earliest date possible. All resignations should be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to the targeted resignation date. Insufficient notice without prior authorization may result in disqualification from future employment with the circulation department.


For most problems and violations, a supervisor will issue a verbal reprimand. If a problem persists, or is of a sufficiently serious nature, a written reprimand will be issued. If a problem persists still, or is of a sufficiently serious nature, the result may be outright dismissal.


The University of Florida is committed to maintaining a safe and comfortable workplace environment. The sexual harassment policy is available in the Office of Human Resource Services and its website at Sexual harassment of employees, students, or visitors will not be tolerated by the university.

Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of situations that tend to share a commonality: the inappropriate introduction of sexual activities or comments in a situation where sex would otherwise be irrelevant. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and a violation of state and federal laws as well as of the policies and regulations of the university.

The university’s policy is to protect all members of the community from sexual harassment. As a result, the responsibility for reporting incidents of sexual harassment also must rest with all members of the university community. Any employee or student who has knowledge of sexual harassment is encouraged to report it to the director of Institutional Equity and Diversity. Employees with supervisory responsibility who have knowledge of sexual harassment are required to report the matter directly to a university official. Any co-worker or student who has knowledge of sexual harassment is strongly encouraged to report it promptly. It is the university’s goal to process complaints of harassment in a prompt and responsive manner to enable appropriate corrective action.

Call the Institutional Equity and Diversity Office at (352) 392-1075 with any questions or concerns about sexual harassment, including information about reporting procedures.

All university employees, including student assistants, are required to take the training entitled Preventing Harassment within the first 30 days of employment and must re-take the training every two years.

University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.