Library Assistant Ii

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					             LAII                                                         Supervisor
                           Projects              HR           Lessons
            Voices                                                          Voice

       objectives         Beginning           Questions? Schedule II      Assess III
                      2               2                                               4

            Pollak                                           Schedule
                           Phase II             Intro                      Assess I
            Library                                             III
                      5                   2              2

            Future        Phase III                          Schedule I   Assess II

                                                                          Those who
        Outtakes          Objectives            People        Current

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Rosemary McGill 1950-2008

             This presentation is
             dedicated to our
             colleague, Rosemary,
             who was a guiding
             proponent of the flexible
             job description and
             contributed to its early

        Three Years (and Counting) of
        Being Flexible in a Rigid World
                            ACRL 2009
            Cal State San Bernardino:
            • Les Kong - Chair, Public Services (Moderator)

            Cal State Fullerton:
            • Clay Gediman - Irvine Campus Librarian
            • Elizabeth Housewright – Associate Univ. Librarian
            • Ron Rodriguez – Access Services Head
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            Circulation Desk


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      Audiovisual & Curriculum Materials
                Center Desk


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            Reference Desk


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            Irvine Campus Library


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            Pollak Library, California State
                 University Fullerton


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      HR: Library Assistant Classification
LAI: Incumbents perform work that is routine and repetitive
 in nature. Tasks are well defined.
LAII: May be expected to make decisions about routine
 matters and use some judgment regarding the
 application of general instructions; May suggest ways to
 improve current procedures and methods
LAIII: Work assignments are complex and varied, often
 outside the scope of standard practices and established
LAIV: Perform the most challenging, exceptional, or
 complex assignments in one or more area(s) of the
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    Beginning: Pollak Library June 2004
Transitions:                   June FTE: 13.5

• Access Services Unit               7%

  Head Leaves                             11%

• Budget cuts, hiring
  freezes                                       Librarians

• Acting Head            82%

• Org Chart changes
            Phase I:                       August 2004
                                            Early August FTE: 10.8
 One description, multiple hires
    ACC Desk Coordinator
 Location:                                          3%   5%
    Public Services Desks at Main
      and Irvine Campuses
    Irregular schedule; M-F &
      weekends                                                       Manager
 Duties:                                                             Staff
    All LA II Level
    Will open and/or close the library
    Will work at multiple public access
      desks (all include circulation)
    Acts as desk “supervisor” and/or         92%

      works alone as primary resource
    75% at desk; 25% projects
                             Schedule I
Desk Duties (75%)                                   Projects (20%)
 Assist with centralizing policies & training
  for all public service desk students &            Miscellaneous (5%)
  provide direct feedback on performance to         Lead: AVCMC Head
  appropriate student supervisor (ALL)
 Check-in, check-out, & renew general              Supervisor: Housewright
  circulating & reserve materials &/or direct
  workflow & student assts as they perform
  these duties.(AVCMC, CIRC, IC)
M: 12-11 PM; afternoon in AVCMC/CIRC, evening includes closing ER
T: 12-11 PM; afternoon including 1-2 hours in ER plus projects, evening
including closing in CIRC
W: 8:30AM-7:00 PM at Irvine Campus
Th: flexible schedule to be arranged with Lead and including hours in

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                        Phase II Schedule
            8-10   11      12   1   2   3   4   5   6-8
 MON        8:30                                    7:30
 SUN               11:30

 CIRC DESK SUPERVISOR                                →

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             Phase III Schedule
Now handled as part of Overall Schedule:
• Covers 11 (4 are flex team)
• Daily schedule: time in/time out
• Covers:
   – Circulation Desk
   – Audiovisual & Curriculum Materials Center Desk
   – Interlibrary Loan
   – Irvine Campus Library
   – Reference Desk (if needed)


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             2d Assessment 10-30-06
Concerns from LA II’s
• Make schedules, procedures/processes more standardized and/or
• Student employees should be kept to same expectations as
  employees in terms of attendance and being on-time
• Delegation should be done with trust and minimal oversight
• Is it better to know a lot in service delivery yet not know it in-depth?
Concerns from the Section Coordinators
• Behavior and manifestations of independence by LA II‟s is
• The more frequent movement of LA II‟s from task to task in work
  areas may cause disjointed service delivery


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              3d Assessment 8-7-07
                   SWOT Method Utilized
 • Grouped desks in one room promotes collaboration among
    colleagues and facilitates problem solving
 • Cross-training is paying dividends in scheduling, “back-up” duties,
    standardization, team spirit and responsiveness to changing

 • “Jack of all trades and master of none” still apparent
 • The need for strong and consistent communication is more critical,
   i.e., when changes in schedule made or changes in procedure
 • The section coordinator‟s support or non-support of the flexible team
   concept has a real effect on LA II‟s

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            3d Assessment continued
• Improvements in areas of communication, coordination, professional
• Increased perception of job satisfaction, i.e. learning new duties,
  increased professionalization, resume building opportunities
• Ability to deal effectively with changes is evident

• Too few flex team members reduces ability to respond in widest
  possible manner
• Standardization and streamlining workflow can be problematic in a
  workforce with various points of view and can cause flex team
• Traditional dedicated staffing can look appealing at times
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               • Uncertainty principle:
                 – It is meaningless to ask about the
                   frequency spectrum at a single
                   moment in time, because the
                   measure of frequency is the
                   measure of a repetition recurring
                   over a period of time.
               • Observer effect:
                 – the measurement of position
                   necessarily disturbs a particle's
                   momentum, and vice versa

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            Another way to look at it….
                          An episode of the popular
                            Matt Groening cartoon
                            Futurama features the
                            crew of the Planet
                            Express at the horse
                            races. Professor
                            Farnsworth exclaims
                            angrily after his favored
                            horse loses in a
                            "quantum finish" "No fair!
                            You changed the
                            outcome by measuring
                            it!".                     →

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   Sample of Early Cross-training status
                          LAII's Experience
                              Audio     Electronic    Irvine
            Circulation       Visual    Resources    Campus
 C. G.

 No experience
 Current semester
 One semester
 Two or more semesters                                         →
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            Projects: Sample Phase I
Library Goal: Cross-train staff to schedule desks, work
  with student payroll
Project: Scheduling/SBCS: Draft or finalize schedule for
  section service points/tasks as appropriate. Learn
  payroll process in SBCS at least at backup level.
Skills: Ability to work with complex scheduling and within
  allocation parameters and legal guidelines
Status: Ongoing
Responsibility: All LAIIs should learn, may be assigned as
  occasional or ongoing task as time and expertise permits
            Projects: Samples Phase II
    Library Goal: Use data to inform future directions of
 Project 1: Millennium Statistics
 Skills: Analyze information available and value of
   information to various sections or projects, document the
   process and create an ongoing schedule
 Status: New                Responsibility: Anh/Dan
 Project 2: Millennium Statistics
 Skills: Create succinct and useful monthly reports for
 Status: New                Responsibility: Anh/Dan
 Sample project “grid” used in Phase III

                        Circulation      AVCMC
Facilities/Safety   Study Room
Specialist          specialist and
                    Lost and Found
                    CSO/Police Liaison
                    Building Marshal
                    Report and survey
                    maintenance issues

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  • Need staffing across unit
  • Want to preserve flexibility for new Head to be hired
  • Cross-trained, flexible staffing for public service desks
     – Promote standardization of services, processes
     – Provide backup where needed
     – Streamline training, create documentation
     – Better able to respond to changing needs
  • Security concerns: staff in the building nights/weekends
  • Task and project support: documentation, training, data
    collection and analysis, etc.
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     Revised Objectives of the Mobile
     Access Team (Access Flex Team)

•      Maximum flexibility for public service desks
•      Responding to changing needs; providing
       service where needed
•     Standardization of services, processes, etc.
•     Tasks and project support
•     Security at night
•     Cross training/back-up

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     2009 Objectives: a work in progress

• Offer maximum flexibility for public service desks and
• Respond to changing needs; provide service where
• Continue to increase standardization and streamline
• As work becomes more routinized and standardized
  allow reasonable flexibility for occasional exceptions
• Provide assistance to security at night
• Take advantage of cross training/”back-up” training


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               Assessment I: Summer 2005
  Assessment                        Changes
     • 3 sessions; 1 with LAIIs      • Project definitions
       only                          • Assignments by
     • What we tried/what we did       semester
  Training (for all Access)         New Assignments for
     •      Patriot Act;             Fall
     •      Emergency Procedures;    • Schedules,
     •      Branch Campus;             supervisors, projects
     •      Reference


      • Will likely hire more into LAII flex team as budget
        permits: faster mobility as changes keep coming
      • Have extended concept to other LAII jobs, just
        starting implementation:
            • Acquisitions, Serials and Interlibrary Loan
      • Depending on projections of future needs (in
        Reference, in ILL, at AVCMC desk) description may
        need to be revised

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       • Have 4 who have moved on to other jobs (2 as
         librarians, 2 outside of libraries)
       • Currently 4 actively working in Access Flex Team
             • Circulation; AVCMC; Reference; and Irvine Campus
       • Added 2 LAI, CIRC only jobs – depth in key desk,
         gives us a “feeder” from student assistants to LAII


        How have objectives evolved?
            Aka stuff happens…

• New Media Commons debuted in 2008; designed to be
  administered minimally by staff
• 24/7 digitized access to media phased out due to
  company folding in late 2008
• Student budget cut 17% beginning in summer 2008
• Loss of one Library Assistant II in spring 2009
• ARES debuts in spring 2009 as the new reserves
  management system

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                 Phase II summary

        Dates:            April 2006-2007
        Supervisor:       Ron Rodriguez
        Title:            MAT (Mobile Access Team)

        Major Changes:
          •Requisition form
              •What do supervisors need?
              •What do LAIIs want to do?
          •Empowerment (schedules, projects)


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               Phase II Assignments: Fall „06                      →

                                                Main         Back-up
Student Coordinating Specialist                 CS           EK
Fines / Material Damage Assessment Specialist   JH           CS
Data Base Specialist                            EK           CG
Patron Privilege Specialist                     AM           JH
Facilities / Safety Specialist                  CG           AM

Library Promotion and Outreach Specialist       AM, CG
Material Management and Placement Specialist    JH, AM

Reference Desk Support Specialist               EK, CG, AM

AVCMC Public Service Desk Specialist            JH, CS       AM
AVCMC Student Coordinating Specialist           JH           CS

Irvine                                          AM, CG, EK
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Circ Supervisor                                 Everyone
                Phase III summary

        Dates:            2007 - current
        Supervisor:       Circulation Section Head
        Title:            Access Flex Team (AFT)

        Major Changes:
          •Centralized office
          •Matrix assignment sheet updated yearly


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                Lessons Learned
• The idea is good; accepting the challenge of working in a
  flex environment can be difficult for LAIIs and section
• Office grouping is beneficial for collaboration and
  teamwork, but at the expense of privacy
• Early empowerment of this group has made them more
  free to experiment for the benefit of the organization;
  level of engagement is extraordinary.
• Is attention from administration good or bad?
• Cross-training really does make it easier to weather
                   LAII Overview

         Head CG   JH   DM   DD   CS   AM   EK   DP   GV   #
Jun-04    TL                                                   0
Sep-04    EH                                                   3
Dec-04    EH                                                   3
Jun-05    EH                                                   4
Mar-06    EH                                                   7
Jun-06    RR                                                   6
Jun-07    RR                                                   5
Dec-07    RR                                                   4
2008      RR                                                   5
2009      RR                                                   4

              Those who left….
Some Pros:

• Flexible schedules (closing/opening shifts, 4 day weeks)
• Able to answer questions and problems at all desks (AV
  as well as Circ questions)
• Choice of location which provided us with unique
  experience and skills. (ILL, Irvine Campus Library)


               Those who left….
Some Cons:

• Crazy desk schedule (one hour in AV, next hour in Circ)
• Inconsistency in schedule. One or two hours in a certain
  location per week wasn‟t enough to get fully trained
• Student workers didn‟t tend to view LA II's as supervisors
• Some, not all, LA II's were placed at the reference desk
• All LA II's were not necessarily given equal skills. For
  instance, only some LA II's were given the privilege to
  handle billed books.
• Inconsistent Desk hours. Sick LA II's forced a scramble
  to cover the desk.

            Thanks for coming!

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