This policy establishes specific guidelines that ensure the consistent and unified application of the Hennepin County Library Board Patron Services Policy as it relates to Information Services.
Information Service is the assistance and instruction provided by staff to help patrons utilize library and other resources to obtain the information they need. This is accomplished through the creation, use, recommendation or explanation of library and other resources.
Library staff provide this service to individuals and groups in library buildings, online, and in the community.
The central objective of Information Services is to anticipate and respond to patrons’ information needs. Success is measured by the degree to which patrons’ needs and expectations are satisfied, thereby making Information Services patron-centered in its philosophy and practice.
Staff respond to all requests regardless of patrons’ age, status, circumstances, or the nature of their inquiry. All requests are handled professionally and receive the appropriate time, attention, treatment, and use of and introduction to information resources.
Patrons can access Information Services by a variety of methods, and receive similar service from staff regardless of the way they contact the library. Any variances or other exceptions will be clearly explained to patrons.
Staff facilitate the development of self-reliant users by developing online content and providing instruction on the use of library materials in all formats.
While in-depth research falls outside the Library’s mission, staff providing Information Services suggest appropriate library resources and offer instruction on the use of those resources for patrons whose inquiries require extensive research. Staff refer to outside resources when information needs are beyond available HCL resources and expertise.
When situations occur that are not specifically addressed in this document, staff use good judgment and their best public service skills to accomplish a satisfactory outcome. Patrons leave the library confident that staff have been as thorough as possible in addressing their information requests.
When assisting patrons with information needs, staff:
When providing service to groups at the library or at community locations, staff:
When creating online content to support self-reliant and remote patrons, staff:
Staff who provide information services:
In order to ensure that Information Services are meeting organizational and patron expectations and are being delivered in an efficient and effective manner, the service should be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
Information Services will be evaluated using the following methods. In some cases, these methods are not currently in place and will need to be developed to ensure that both quantitative and qualitative measures are available.
Ask Us Information Transactions (in person, phone, and online)
Online Content Transactions
Services to Groups – (community events, school visits, public training)
This administrative policy is reviewed at minimum every four (4) years by the System Services Division Manager (or designee) in conjunction with the Hennepin County Library Board’s review of the Patron Services Policy. In the event of a significant change in Information Services, the review process may occur more frequently. Upon completion of the review, this policy is revised or reaffirmed.
Next review: 07/01/2017
Last reviewed/revised: 07/15/2013