CFL Student Employee Training

information for student employees

Returning to work

Coming back to work in a world of uncertainty can cause anxiety and fear. The staff at CFL are doing everything they can to ensure safety, including setting up new work flows and policies. This section of our guide will address some of these changes.

Karlene is available at any time to discuss concerns or fears about the work environment or anxiety about the workplace. She will be working with everyone to make accommodations as available and possible. Please share both worries and ideas - this is a work in progress!

There are campus options for counseling services  if you would like to utilize them. Mental health care is just as important as physical health. Your supervisors will work with you if appointments end up scheduled during work shifts.


PPE is Personal Protective Equipment.

UND has a Coronavirus Blog that keeps everyone up to date on the latest happening on campus. The university, according to this site, will be providing everyone on campus with two masks.

  • Masks must be worn at all times while in campus buildings.
    • The correct way to wear them is to cover the mouth and nose completely - especially while speaking to another person!
    • If they come into the building with no mask (or take it off while at a table) please follow Respect and Communication outcomes by using the following order:
      • "If you wish the library to remain open, you do need to wear your mask."
      • "Please mask up or leave the building."
      • Call the police to come remove them
      • We are holding a zero tolerance policy for non-compliance. If you are uncomfortable or feel unsafe at any point with doing these steps, immediately involve your supervisor. We're happy to step in.
    • What if they say they have a medical condition to not wear a mask?
      • They need an official medical waiver from their doctor that they voluntarily show you
        • We won't ask for it - it's not our business
        • It is not a wallet card - these are "bogus" items
        • Generally, this will be a full size sheet of paper with the medical facility's letterhead on it
      • Many people working in the building also have medical conditions. We're still required to wear masks.
        • Karlene is a prime example. With only 59% lung function, breathing with a mask on is a severe challenge for her. She still does it. Feel free to use her as an example.
  • Gloves will be provided for handling of books.
  • Plexiglass barriers are installed across all public desks.
  • Self Check Machines are being installed. See more in Circulation Information

Angry patrons / patrons yelling or acting in a threatening manner

Generally, our patrons are amazing. However, they are facing the same fears and concerns we all are. This fear can create situations where they lash out in anger (almost always verbal). Anything may trigger a person to react in anger during times of stress. This section is to remind you about our customer service standards. Please go back and review that section of the guide one more time!

Here are a few reminders from our training:

  • If you are just starting your training at the front desk, IMMEDIATELY ask someone more trained to take over.
    • This is NOT a case where Karlene wants you to "give it a try."
  • Never raise your voice. This is key to bringing their voices back down!
  • Eye contact and nod
    • Pay attention to whether they are escalating - it could be seen as a sign of aggression to someone in a heightened emotional state
  • Keep your hands relaxed and visible on the countertop
  • Repeat back what you hear them saying
    • "What I hear you saying is..."
    • "If I understand correctly..."
  • If at any point in a conversation you feel uncomfortable or afraid for your own safety (listen to that little voice! Don't wait - the minute you are uncomfortable), call in a co-worker or a supervisor.
    • This is as simple as having Teams chat open and typing "help - upset patron - Info Desk" or "help - I'm uncomfortable / afraid - Info Desk" to anyone in the building. This provides some measure of context for the person contacted so they know what they are walking into.
    • Key people to reach out to in order:
      • Access:
        • Karlene
        • Stan (or Jay at night)
        • Chris (depending on the concern)
        • Sally Dockter (Assistant Director)
        • Stephanie Walker (Dean of Libraries)
      • Our PRCs - they were Seniors before moving into their position!
        • Either chat to them you need help (I know they'll be right behind you) or, if you turn to them, you don't want to say anything rude about the patron ("This person is angry about something," for example). Say instead, "Joe, could you come listen to Jane's concern?" That term - "concern" - validates the patron!
      • Reference Librarians - they are ALWAYS willing to assist you!
        • Holly
        • Brittany
        • Kristen
        • Any of the others
      • Other department heads
        • Curt Hanson (Special Collections)
        • Shelby Harken (Technical Services)
        • Will Martin (Information Technology)
      • Other department student supervisors
        • Danae Snavely (Technical Services - she was a senior student in the building at one time!)
        • Brian Baier (Special Collections)

How long the virus lives on paper products is still being contested. Some sources say 24 hours, some say 72 hours. For our safety, the following procedures have been put in place:

  • Book drops
    • These will be handled at regular intervals instead of every time a book is seen.
    • Gloves must be worn
    • Once books are checked in, they go into a labeled box in front of Jay's desk
      • Note he has four boxes - you will be shown which boxes to use on which days
  • Information Desk
    • If patrons return a book to you here, there will be a book truck at the "entrance" to the area they may place the book on
    • When the cart starts to fill up (1-2 moderately full shelves)
      • Gloves!
      • Check them in
      • Take them to the boxes in front of Jay's desk
  • Interfiling and Shelving
    • At this point, the books have been through quarantine and are considered safe to handle. No gloves required.

Librarians will no longer be staffing a physical desk. Instead, the PRCs will have a desk in the Knowledge Commons behind you. If there is no PRC, you will need to contact a librarian to assist the patron. There is a Consultation Room next to Karlene's office, but due to COVID distancing protocol, the room is not large enough for two people to use at the same time.

How to proceed:

  • Karlene can be referred to first if she's in her office.
  • The reference librarians' "on call" schedule will be in our Teams channel - learn who you are to contact for the shift you work.
    • Tell the patron "due to COVID restrictions, the librarian will send you a Zoom invite. May I have your email for them to contact you please?"
      • Once you have it: "Great / Thanks / Appreciate it. We have a Consultation Room <right there>." (Point out the location). "Once you're signed into the computer / your laptop, the librarian will be ready to assist you."
    • Chat the librarian: <> has a reference question. Please Zoom

Reminder that the Information Desk is a work in progress! We're still developing our best practices and your input will be invaluable for this during the fall semester!



We're still working out the details on this! We aren't sure who will be responsible for cleaning things that were touched. Some have recommended having an Access student employee only on this task.

It would include:

  • Self check machines
  • Knowledge Commons counters
  • Keyboards
  • Other items as assigned

There is also talk about having us wipe computers off in the reference area and in 320. This section will be updated as more information is availabie.


  • Wipe down your work station when you come on shift
  • Wipe down your work station at the end of your shift

Please check back. We do not know where these will be housed yet.