Who are the Library Rovers and what do they do?
Have you ever wondered who the people in the black shirts in the Library were? Or heard students and colleagues praising the work of the Library Rovers? The first Rovers were employed by the Library nearly 10 years ago when the Auchmuty Information Commons opened. They are often the ‘face of the Library’ but their role remains a mystery for many.
Library Rovers are students employed to work in the Ourimbah (OIC), Auchmuty (AIC), City (CHIC) and Huxley Libraries. They provide front line assistance and support to staff and students in the use of Information Technology.
Recruitment for the positions occurs on an annual basis and is open to current UoN or Ourimbah TAFE students commencing at least their second year of study. Students are employed as Rovers as they have an affinity with the issues being faced by other students. Customer service skills are a major job criterion. The number of positions available each year is dependent on current Rovers graduating, as many Rovers continue to work throughout their program.
Rovers undergo training to cover basic skills with an emphasis on providing an overview of the Library work environment from a staff perspective. The relationship with the clients drives the philosophy of the Rover service as user needs can range from campus directional information, help with printing, general library and university enquiries, to the file recovery of a major assignment in the wee hours of the morning.
The Information Commons are the only services open twenty-four hours per day during semester so it is important that the Rovers are prepared to deal with a range of customer situations and to recognise that not every situation is related to the Information Common. All new Rovers receive customer service training and follow-up sessions in the library focus on library-related issues. Informal feedback from the Rovers suggests the 2013 training was very useful and the customer service principles applied to the workplace. On a personal level, as Rovers work rostered shifts across a 24 hour period, the training day is the only chance they all get to meet each other in person rather than just by name and email. It's a good opportunity for the "older" rovers to share their experiences and enlighten the "new" rovers with questions that they may get repeatedly or the tricky questions that they have already sifted through and resolved.
For the Ourimbah Rovers the highlight of the training day was getting to know the role of other teams on campus, e.g. security, IT services, student Hub and library teams. This helps the rovers to build up a good knowledge of the campus, improve their communication and collaboration with other teams and work together to provide the best service to students and other Library clients. The hands-on experiences are also very exciting for new Rovers.
Rovers across all campuses provide a friendly welcome service for both new and returning library users. Look for the person wearing the "black shirt" next time you visit an Information Common site.