Houston Public Library
Central Library Tiered Service Guidelines
NOTE: The following tiers/guidelines are intended to serve as general guidelines. Please use your best judgment when referring questions. If you reach a point in an interview/discussion with a customer where you feel uncomfortable or uncertain, feel free to call for assistance.
All customer service staff (Customer Service Clerks, Library Assistants, Library Service Specialist, and Librarians) should assist with the following questions & services:
- Check items in and out including laptops
- Assist with account questions and handle customer disputes
- Collect fines and fees
- Library card registration
- Book sale (receive books, take money, etc.)
Basic informational questions:
- How to use the catalog/search catalog for customer; explain various catalog features
- How to place holds/place hold for customer
- How to navigate and find information on HPL website
- Library information (hours, programs, services, etc.)
- Directional questions
- Explain Interlibrary Loan where customer needs this service
- Assist with computer reservation system
- Extend time limits as appropriate
- Directory/map/address look-up
- How to perform a basic Internet search
- Assist customer to set up an e-mail or other online account
- Help customer print, copy, put money on card
- Basic reader’s advisory (if staff member has an interest in that area)
These questions should be referred to any LSS or higher on duty on location.
Advanced catalog or item search (if unable to locate an item or if customer needs further assistance)
- Advanced Reader’s advisory services
- Help using a subscription database or other complex databases (e.g., Edmund’s)
- Advanced Internet searching if a basic search does not yield an answer
- Advanced technological or equipment assistance
- Any question beyond those in Tier 1 or where a basic search does not yield enough information to fully answer the question.
Refer to Central Remote Reference or other entity for further assistance
Where more help is needed than can be offered in Tier 2, specialized information is only located at another location such as Central or HRMC, or where Tier 2 level assistance does not yield enough information.