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Goals for Circulation Services

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We articulate our goals for Circulation Services so that

  • our staff have a common understanding of the standards we pursue
  • our users may know what to expect from us and what we expect from them

We aspire to the following goals:

  • Environment: We provide a safe, clean, and collegial environment, which promotes effective use of library resources.
  • Information: We provide concise and accurate information on the use of basic services and sources, and refer users appropriately.
  • Access: We provide timely, convenient, and equitable access to materials.
  • Collegiality and Collaboration: We work closely with all library staff and users so that we can meet these goals.
  • Continuous Improvement: We seek and use feedback, and provide on-going training for our staff to improve our services.

Goals and Observable Behaviors

Environment: We provide a collegial, safe, and clean environment, which promotes effective use of library resources.

  1. We treat library users and colleagues the way we want to be treated. We:
    • respect cultural differences
    • communicate in a friendly, respectful and courteous manner
    • listen attentively and remain open to questions
    • are truthful, open and clear in our communication
    • respect confidentiality when appropriate
  2. We carry out circulation activities in a quiet, efficient manner, striving not to disturb nearby users and staff.
  3. We provide a safe and healthy environment. We:
    • clearly state guidelines for what constitutes a safe and healthy environment
    • regularly assess units and make improvements as needed
    • work with campus to:
      • provide clean, safe and well-lighted facilities
      • safeguard our users, staff, and library materials, by enforcing the Library's Code of Conduct
  4. We prepare for emergencies and difficult situations. We:
    • maintain written safety and emergency response procedures
    • train staff for emergencies and difficult situations
    • review incidents after-the-fact to assess procedures and support systems
  5. We provide — on-site or nearby — library computers, printers, microform readers/printers, copiers, and change machines, and we:
    • report equipment in need of repair immediately
    • ensure that broken equipment is repaired or replaced as soon as possible
    • train staff to assist users in the basic use of these resources
    • assess the need for various types of equipment annually
  6. We accommodate the needs of disabled users. We:
    • provide furniture and fixtures which comply with ADA specifications
    • provide one-on-one services (e.g., paging material) as needed (see Disability resources)

Access: We foster timely, convenient, and equitable access to materials.

  1. We work to match hours of on-site circulation services and study space to users' needs.
    • we advise our Unit Heads when adjustments in hours seem appropriate
    • we work with our Unit Heads to develop budget proposals for additional hours and services as needed
  2. We work to minimize the amount of time users have to wait for services. We:
    • request backup assistance at circulation points if more than a few people are in line
    • alert users to possible delays, and manage lines to move them as quickly as possible
    • implement online procedures which enable users to perform many circulation functions at their own convenience
    • ask our users to understand that at certain times of the year (e.g., end of the semester, mid-terms, etc.) extra demands on both the collections and on our student workers affect our ability to meet these goals
  3. We make library materials available in a timely and accurate manner. We:
    • discharge an item within 0 to 24 working hours of its return
    • re-shelve an item within 0 to 48 working hours of its discharge
    • create, where possible, publicly available sorting areas and refer users there as appropriate
    • monitor discharging and reshelving processes to ensure a minimum of 98% accuracy
    • promote and seek regular funding for more frequent and in-depth shelf-reading
  4. We make identifying materials in the catalogs and locating them on the shelf as easy as possible. We:
    • provide accurate, online information about the availability of materials in the collection
    • consistently follow Library record maintenance standards and procedures, e.g., missing volumes.
    • offer assistance in finding items in the stacks, provide referrals to reference staff, and provide clear signs, directories, maps, etc.
  5. We process course reserve lists as quickly as possible
  6. We make return of library materials as convenient and reliable as possible
  7. In support of equitable access by all users, we hold all users accountable for returning items when they are recalled (see Responsibilities of Borrowers)
  8. We protect the collection and extend its life by applying conservation standards when binding, shelving and handling materials
  9. We establish loan periods and assign privileges to users to optimize use of the collection by Berkeley faculty, staff and students. These policies provide access to others as resources allow. Some policies and practices may be library-wide, some may be unit-wide. They are each uniformly applied within the environment and group to which they relate.

Information: We provide concise and accurate information on the use of services and sources, and refer users appropriately.

  1. We communicate information that is concise and accurate in person, by telephone, and electronically.
  2. We provide information about:
  3. We seek to satisfy users. In the event that front-line staff are unable to do so, we offer users options for how to resolve an issue.

Collegiality and Collaboration: We work closely with all library staff and users so that we can meet these goals.

  1. We work with Technical Services and Systems staff to create and apply standards and procedures for updating circulation and catalog records to ensure consistency and clarity of display.
  2. We inform staff in circulation services, collection development, and technical services about changes/corrections needed to online records.
  3. We notify Selectors when multiple copies of heavily-used print items seem warranted, and make suggestions for establishment of licensing agreements for electronic materials to optimize simultaneous use.
  4. We work with Selectors to keep on campus the most heavily-used items, and store, when necessary, items which are used less frequently.
  5. We work with NRLF, Systems and Mailroom staff to maintain easy and fast methods for identifying, requesting and delivering materials from storage.
  6. We maintain clear lines of communication with everyone who influences the quality of the services we provide both within our unit and across units (e.g., operations managers, circulation staff, unit heads, technical service staff, and selectors.)
  7. We clearly state our goals and policies so our users know what to expect from us and what we expect from them. (see Borrowing)

Continuous Improvement: We seek and use feedback for continued improvement in services and provide on-going training for our staff.

  1. We have clear and written standards and guidelines, we train staff to meet these standards, and we incorporate them, where applicable, into individual performance evaluations.
  2. We set realistic priorities among our tasks to ensure that the most important items can be performed to the Library's standards of excellence.
  3. We develop and implement innovative models and standards in response to changes in our environment, providing leadership to the library and information community.
  4. We value user feedback and use various methods for receiving suggestions from our users, including in person, informal and formal surveys, online, via email, and in-unit suggestion/comment boxes.
  5. We maintain statistics about the use of our collections and regularly review them for trends, using them to inform our services and policies.


This document was drafted by the Excellence in Public Services Task Force, a sub-group of the Public Services Council.

It was discussed and endorsed by the Circulation Services Group, the Public Services Council, Roundtable and Library Cabinet, and was adopted for implementation in April 2001.