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					Sample Customer Service Charter
for Public Libraries

                                             Important Notes 


A Customer Service Charter is an excellent opportunity to spell out your services and objectives in a
positive and succinct way. It can also be a most positive means of stating your expectations of your
customers while using the library. While it offers a chance to state those things which your customers
should not do, it is very important that these should be written in a very positive way. Stating what you
would like customers to do and how they can help you to deliver a good service is immensely better than
a list of don’ts.

The attached sample Customer Service Charter has been compiled for your convenience. The content is
meant as a guide only. If you prepare a Charter of your own, you should be careful to tailor this example
to your own situation, or develop one from scratch using these tips.


It cannot be stressed enough that any draft Charter of your own needs to be consistent with any relevant
local laws or standards for your council, or state or federal legislation eg. privacy legislation. Any draft
you compile should either be checked by your council lawyer, or sent to the Local Government
Association of Queensland for forwarding to King and Co. Solicitors. This is essential to safeguard you
against any possible litigation.


Your Charter should also refer to any existing library policies eg. Internet Policy, and any library rules or
regulations. It is also important to remember that all rules or policies should be readily available to the
customers of your library.


Your Charter should be displayed clearly in the library, on your website and also on appropriate
promotional material, to facilitate maximum exposure to the community.


Specific concerns have been raised in the past about the issue of unsupervised children in libraries. This
is a delicate area which again must be handled carefully and in the most positive way possible. It is
important to remember that children are and should be welcome in libraries and that any requirements
regarding their supervision are there to ensure their safety and wellbeing and to maintain an atmosphere
of constructive library use for all customers. Points have been added to the Sample Charter to help
address this concern in general terms.

There is also a particularly useful resource book available from PLS which covers this topic. Entitled
“Unattended children in the Public Library: a resource guide” (American Library Association, 2000), it
provides discussion and lengthy resource lists on various aspects of the issue of unattended children in

A kit published by the Commission for Children and Young People (Queensland, 2003) may also be
helpful in working through a range of issues about children in public places. Entitled “Working with
Children Kit”, the kit covers such topics as organisational responsibilities towards children and points for
State Library of Queensland                                                                       Version 1.0
                                            June 2005
Sample Customer Service Charter
for Public Libraries

staff dealing with children as clients. The kit is available on six-week loan from PLS or may be obtained
from the Commission by phoning 1800 688 275.


There are many other examples of Library Customer Service Charters on the web for you to browse.
Some of the better ones I found are:

For further assistance, please email

December 2003

State Library of Queensland                                                                     Version 1.0
                                           June 2005
Sample Customer Service Charter
for Public Libraries


    Please ensure you have read the background information at the beginning of this document
                                before using this sample charter

                      (Notes to assist in compilation of your Charter appear in italics)

          The Charter may vary widely in its format. If the library has a published mission
          or vision statement, this would be appropriate to include. As a minimum, it
          should include a description of the library’s general objectives, a list of services
          provided, some points covering what clients can expect from the library service,
          and a section on how clients can help.
          Where relevant, there should be reference to library specific policies such as a
          Collection Development Policy, Circulation Policy, Privacy Policy and Complaint
          Handling Policy.

This charter outlines our service commitment to you and how you can help us to provide you with a
quality service.

The xxxx Library is dedicated to the provision of a high level of service. We are the public library service
for the people of xxxx Council, and we also form part of a statewide network of public libraries in
Queensland. We are a focal point for the community, a source of a wide range of library materials and a
gateway to worldwide information resources.

Our services include:
   Collections that are well maintained and easily accessible
   Access to a wide range of information resources, both in the library and beyond its walls
   Professional assistance in using the library’s resources and services
   Activities and programs for adults and children
   Services for people with special needs, including people with disabilities, literacy needs, older people
    and multicultural communities
   Personal computers, printers and photocopiers for your use

          The library’s values may be included if desired….

In providing our services, we value:
   Meeting the needs of our community
   The diversity and individuality of all people
   The professionalism of our staff
   Effective communication, including your feedback on our services
   Our approachability

          The Charter should include a list of what clients can expect from you...
State Library of Queensland                                                                     Version 1.0
                                             June 2005
Sample Customer Service Charter
for Public Libraries

You can expect:
   Prompt, courteous service
   Helpful well-trained staff who will treat you with respect, confidentiality and in a culturally appropriate
   Fair and equitable access to our collections, services and programs
   Collections which aim to meet your needs and are well maintained and accessible
   An information service which is responsive to your needs and provides access to resources beyond
    the library’s walls
   Convenient hours of opening
   Prompt responses to your enquiries, comments or complaints
   Clear and accurate information regarding library policies etc (List here all policies, rules etc and
    information on how customers can access them)
   Respect for your privacy at all times

          The Charter should include a list of your expectations of your clients, written in a
          very positive way...

Help us to help you by:
   Treating other people in the library with respect and courtesy , whether they be customers or library
   Treating library facilities, equipment, collections and property with due care
   Assisting staff to understand your requests fully by communicating your needs clearly
   Providing us with feedback on how we may improve our services, or how we can help to resolve a
    specific service problem
   Participating in the activities and services offered by the library in a spirit of good humour and co-
   Informing yourself of library policies and rules and observing these at all times (List here all policies ,
    rules etc and where they are displayed)
   Ensuring that children in your care are properly supervised while in the library (Refer here to any
    specific policies or guidelines endorsed by Council)
   Complying with any directions or instructions given by staff

State Library of Queensland                                                                       Version 1.0
                                            June 2005

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