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Wiggins Library Student Workers Guide: Customer Service

Welcome to the electronic version of the library student worker handbook. This is meant to be a quick reference for any questions you might have about working here at the library or that might crop up while you're on the job.

Customer Service

At Wiggins Memorial Library we are here to provide excellent customer service at all times. Upholding our mission to be a user-focused, service-rich learning resource means offering both professional, respectful front-desk service and care in materials handling. 

Ask for help!

Please ask for assistance. No one expects you to have an answer for all questions. If you are working at a time when no one is available to help, leave a note for the regular library staff with information regarding the question so that someone can get back to the patron.

Searching for Materials for a Patron

It can be difficult to know which search tool to use. Here's a quick guide.


  • The Good: Gives you an "insider look" at item records with detailed info (when last checked out, when due, etc).  Also searches records for cataloged information (e.g. movies featuring a specific actor).
  • The Bad: Clunky search interface; cannot search Reserve items easily.
  • Use it when a patron wants location information for a specific book, and they know the title and/or author.



  • The Good: Awesome search interface where you can filter search results by publication date, item type, subject heading, etc.  Easily access full text online.
  • The Bad: Possible information overload -- returns results for not only books, but also journal articles, newspapers articles, book reviews, etc. When looking for a physical book located in the Library, you have to click-through to the catalog record to view book availability. 
  • Use it when a patron has a really good idea of what they want, but may not have the specific title; or if they are open to information in other formats.

Tutorials: OneSearch Basics |  OneSearch Advanced 



  • The Good: WorldCat searches library catalog records from all over the world!  Search results include images of the book, and a list of libraries that hold it, sorted by distance.
  • The Bad: It's a circuitous way to access location information about a book we may hold.
  • Use it when a patron isn't 100% positive about the book title/author, but definitely wants that particular book.  WorldCat has images of the cover, so the patron can verify that a record is for the book they want.  Then, once you've nailed down the book, you can look to see if we have a copy of the book.  WorldCat will link you to our own catalog to check book location.

Always remember to refer patrons to the Research Assistance desk if they need help finding sources (as opposed to help finding a specific title). 


The Basics

Helping patrons is your most important job. Be approachable and project a positive attitude.

  • Make eye contact, smile, and offer each patron a greeting, such as "Hello. How can I help you today?" or "Good morning! What can I do for you?"
  • Show interest: if talking to other staff members or performing a task, stop immediately to offer assistance to the patron.
  • Listen respectfully to the patron’s request, and pay close attention to questions. Ask for additional information if necessary to clarify the patron’s needs.
  • Be knowledgeable about your job and provide correct information. If you are unsure about something, ask a supervisor for assistance. (This way you will know the answer for next time, and won't steer the patron in the wrong direction. During ‘slow’ times, familiarize yourself with the library's webpages, the online catalog, databases, etc.)
  • Follow up, and confirm that the patron's questions have been answered.

Important Phone Numbers

Circulation Desk
On-campus:   x2462 
Off-campus:   910-893-1462

Research Assistance Desk/Reference
On-campus:   x1467
Off-campus:   910-893-1467

Curriculum Materials and Media Center/CMMC
On-campus:   x1595
Off-campus:   910-893-1595

CUSOM Library
On-campus:   x7700
Off-campus:   910-814-7700

Campus Safety:
On-Campus:   x1375
Off-Campus:   910-893-1550