A day in the life – Customer Service Assistant

Looking for a new challenge this year? Do you want a varied, challenging and valuable role working in one of our libraries? Take a peek into the role of a Customer Service Assistant working in Hampshire Libraries.

Well, the job is so diverse that there are no real ‘typical’ days, and tasks can vary, depending on the size of the library and number of staff in the team. Hampshire libraries are based in all sorts of places, from shopping centres to countryside locations.

Customer Service Assistants will work in more than one library in an area of Hampshire depending on where they work, and will need to be flexible and plan travelling arrangements.

Days will usually have a structure of some kind; in larger libraries with bigger teams, CSA’s will be timetabled for different duties throughout the day, to keep the day varied, interesting and fair. Smaller libraries can take a more flexible approach, with more time spent with our customers.

The first task of the day will usually be setting up the library, ready to open to the public. This involves everything from switching on staff and public access computers as well as the self-service machines, to collecting and processing daily newspapers, and getting the tills ready for the day. CSA’s are sometimes responsible for Health & Safety checks such as testing the fire alarms or ensuring that fire exits are clear too.

Each library receives a regular delivery containing books returned from other libraries, items that customers have reserved and new stock, this need to be sorted and tidied for all the wonderful customers who walk through our doors. Once we open the library and welcome the customers, our day really begins. Being a public service we welcome everyone in the community, different backgrounds and age groups.

Although you may be timetabled for a range of jobs throughout the day, you will be on your feet for the majority of the day as responding to our customers’ needs is our first priority.

While you are on duty in public areas of the library, there are many different tasks that need completing.  You could be showing customers how to take their items out using a self-service machine, recommending a title on a book display or making sure that any returned books are easily available for customers that don’t have much time to browse. When in the main part of the library you will be approached and asked questions by the public which you will be doing your best to answer for them.

Apart from book enquiries you can be asked anything else which might not be even library related. Your first customer may need help accessing and printing files, scanning a document and attaching it to an email. The next could be asking about any events you may have in the library for under 5s’ (Storytime, Rhymetime), or customer wanting to enrol for a Tai-Chi course at the library.

When you are not covering public areas you are likely to be involved with completing other tasks or working on specific responsibilities you may have. In larger libraries, there may be a workroom away from the public where you can get on with things but in smaller libraries, you may be working on a job at a public desk. You can also get involved in organising, co-ordinating and running groups, events and regular bookings and will be asked about them by the public on a daily basis.

Each day is different, and it can be a very rewarding role. No matter how big the library we need customer focussed, positive, and adaptable staff to help make out service the best it can be!

All our jobs are listed on the Hampshire County Council New Job website, where you can find more information and contact details.

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