Friday, May 25, 2012

Roving - The rOverview (part1)

At the moment I seem to be getting asked quite a bit about how roving enquiry support works over here. But there are a lot of facets to this, so to prevent boredom and "rOverload" (hopefully) I'm going to break it down into 5 small parts and post over the next couple of weeks. But here's a quick "rOverview" of how it works for my team to set the scene...(no more puns, I promise)...

The Front of House set up:
Enquiry Support are one of 3 Customer Service teams based primarily front of house:
The Customer Support Team (including Library Assistants) staff the Helpdesk and deal primarily with accounts, membership and circulation, but also handle general enquiries and make referrals. 

The Environment Team (made up of Stewards) look after the study environment ensuring people are following guidelines and working in appropriate study zones etc. but also field some enquiries whilst roving and refer a lot of these on. 

The Enquiry Support Team (Library Advisers plus me) provide roving support, including general enquiries, finding and accessing print resources, referrals to specialist staff and referrals advice, first line digital access support, assistance with using equipment etc.

But any member of staff could be dealing with front of house enquiries and referrals so cross team communication and training are important. 

The Enquiry Support Team:
My job title is "Enquiry Support Officer" and I look after the team of Library Advisers. They are the same grade as a Library Assistant and currently I have 3 established Advisers and 2 peer support temps. (I started the academic year with 4 temps, and so far 2 are still here - I am really pleased any of them have stayed this long!)

The peer support temps are here as a trial project for this year. They work along side established staff but are front of house only, just providing roving support. The established Advisers work both front of house (roving) and back of house (the team has quite a broad remit relating to all things enquiry-supporty). But as we're only interested in the roving here, the Advisers are all effectively doing the same job - and wearing the same tee-shirt - pictured right (not literally - that would get crowded). 

The Hours: 
We typically provide roving enquiry support from 10am - 6pm Monday-Friday during terms 1 and 2 and we reduce that in line with service demands in term 3, when most students have their heads stuck in books and past exam papers and are not so much in need of enquiry support, as caffeine and chocolate. 

We cover some weekends and bank holidays, depending on expected demand.

We also operate an Adviser On Call service allowing other front of house teams to phone for an Adviser to come and help a specific person if required.(This number is only available to Library staff - students cannot phone for an Adviser).

The Rest:
So, that's how the basics shape up. I'll post a few separate posts over the next couple of weeks to look at: 
  • The People (who are these wild rovers?)
  • The Tech (what wireless wizardry is required to make roving work?)
  • The Review (how did it go, and how do we know?)
  • The Future (whatever next?)
(Images from Morguefile.com - except for the Adviser tee-shirt - that's real!)

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