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Student Worker Manual

IDEAS Student Employee Manual

Attendance & Timesheets

Using Cell Phones & Laptops 

Cell Phones

  • If there is a slow period and you have accomplished any tasks given to you, you may use your cell phone for brief intervals
  • No personal calls
  • You must be able to be aware of patrons who need assistance (or watching the gates) and can immediately put down what you are doing to assist


  • Beginning July 31, 2021 personal devices will no longer be allowed at the service desks. You may use the library's Surface computers to complete homework during slow periods, but make sure you do not save any personal or login information to those devices.

Dress Code

  • No billed hats or sunglasses that would block your vision.
    •    If you need sunglasses for a medical issue, talk to your supervisor beforehand
  • Shoes must be worn at all time
  • Nothing such as racist or sexist language or symbols

The phones at the Help & Information Desk are multi-line landlines. You can place patrons on a brief hold if you need to ask a supervisor a question, look something up, or help another patron. You can also transfer callers to other extensions across campus. 

Use the following script (or something similar) when answering the phone: "Good Morning, Help and Information Desk, this is _____, how may I help you?"

Communicate with the patron as you work to find them an answer. Remember that they can't see you, so if you need to look something up, ask if you can place them on a brief hold while you look up the answer, confer with a supervisor, etc. You can also transfer the call to another phone line if the question is best handled by an individual staff member at their personal desk, or another university department like ITS. 


To either place a call on hold or transfer the call, you need to select the three dot menu button from the phone's touch screen, which appears when you have a live call:   

You will then be given the choices of placing the call on hold, transferring the call, or parking it (which we don't use, so you don't need to worry about it). To place the call on hold, simply select the "place call on hold" option. Select the "resume" option when you're ready to talk to the patron again. Make sure to say "thank you for holding" when you resume, so they know you're back. 

If you select "Transfer" to transfer a call, you will be prompted to search for the call recipient by name, but you can also type in the four-digit extension. You can use the library's staff directory or the university website to look up their 4 digit extension (the last four digits of their phone number). Remember that you can only transfer to numbers on campus. 


If you need to transfer the patron, tell them that you are transferring them and what number they can call back in case the number gets dropped

  • H&I desk: 617.373.8778
  • Access Point desk: 617.373.8343

Once the transfer goes through you may hang up the call. 

Ending a Call 

Whenever you're getting ready to end a call, make sure that you:

Please be prepared to start your shift exactly at the start time. You may arrive a few minutes early to ensure a smooth shift transition.

If there are problems with your schedule, let us know as soon as possible. You are a student first, and we understand that, so we want to make sure that your work schedule does not interfere with your education. Give us advance warning so we can work within your schedule. 

Please make sure to pay attention to your schedule (and your preferences!) when requesting shifts. We try to be as accommodating as possible, but we depend on our students and their attendance. 

All Northeastern student workers can work up to 20 hours a week while enrolled full time. Work study students can work based on their award amount. Staff may assign you hours based on your current schedule, or give specific instructions to you for how many hours you can sign up for in When to Work, our scheduling software. Please pay attention to those hours and limitations.

  • If you know you cannot make a shift, put your shift on the When to Work trade board as soon as possible. You are responsible for that shift until it is picked up by another student or approved by a supervisor. 
  • If you are dropping a shift within 48 hours of the shift, put the shift on the trade board and email all supervisors. 
  •  Unless you receive a response before your shift, please also call the supervisor on duty. For last minute emergencies (anything less than 48 hours), call the supervisor on duty at 617-373-2364.

Time off Requests - Generally, time off requests should be used well in advance of the shift in question. Please use email or messaging within 48 hours of the shift you need to drop, not the time off function. 

The time off request page will allow you to review your past requests and their status as well as make new requests. Until your time off is approved, it will remain as pending and will not be removed from your schedule. Once approved, the shift will be considered unassigned, and available for other students to pick up. 

Trading or Dropping Shifts - If you cannot make a shift and you are willing to trade shifts with another student employee, you can add your scheduled shift to the trade board. On the Trade board form, you have the option to select trade, drop, or both. Selecting “Trade” will allow you to trade shifts with anyone willing to pick up your shift. We recommend that you leave a comment stating what days you are able to trade shifts. If you select “Drop” when you add a shift to the trade board, your shift will only be removed from your schedule if someone picks it up. By clicking “Either” that means that you are willing to trade shifts or you are ok with dropping the shift if a trade can’t be made.  

Adding items to the trade board means that you are responsible for covering that shift if it is not picked up. If your trade is not picked up, or the trade is not confirmed you can remove the shift from the trade board by clicking on the shift and click on the “DELETE Entry” button. This will delete the shift from the trade board and it will remain on your schedule.   

If you put a shift up on the trade board and it is not picked up, you are still responsible for that shift. If it is a last minute emergency, please make sure that you call the library to notify us that you won’t be in and send an email to all managers and backup supervisors on When to Work to let us know that you will be absent. 

Sending Messages through When to Work – Don’t worry about collecting email addresses - you can use When To Work to send messages. The Messaging page allows you to select the names of the people you’d like to send a message to. All student employees and backup supervisors are listed by last name. All full time supervisors are listed as “Manager.” If you are not sure who your shift supervisor is, you can select all staff listed as “Manager.”

Please speak with on desk supervisor before you take your break. The supervisor on duty may deny a paid break (up to 20 minutes) based on staffing.

  • 4-hour shifts:  you can take a break up to 20 minutes.
  • 6 hours shift:  you get a 30-minute unpaid break.
  • 6 + hour shift: You must take a 30-minute unpaid break.

You cannot use your break to leave early or come in late to a shift.

Disciplinary issues: If there are repeat issues with a student’s behavior, inability to follow directions or complete tasks, or complaints from other staff or supervisors, a student worker may be placed on probation. Failure to abide by the terms during the time limit set in the document may result in dismissal from the position.

Misuse of Information: Using personal information you get through your job for your own purposes, or sharing personal information for any reason, is unacceptable.

  • This is true for library patrons (of any patron group), fellow student workers, or library staff.
  • To be completely clear – this is a fire-able offense. Any incidents of students sharing personal information may need to be reported to OSCCR.

Timesheets are submitted through the Student Employment Website weekly. Timesheets must be submitted by 10:00 am Sunday for the previous week's shifts. 

Remember to clock in and out for each of your shifts on the semester's shift form. If you do not clock in/out for each of your shifts, we may be delayed in approving your timesheet in time!

Even though timesheets are due weekly, payroll is submitted bi-weekly. You can set up your first deposit through

Requesting References & Leaving Snell

If you have to quit we understand, though we hate to see you go!

Please give us the standard two weeks’ notice if you have to quit. We understand that sometimes this is not possible do to outside influences, but advance notice helps us cover the remainder of your shifts.

Use the trade board – still have a shift or two left in the week? Put them up on the trade board and see if someone else can take them.

When requesting a reference: 

  • Contact your supervisor first – We cannot stress this enough. Speak with your supervisor, send them an email, whatever you have to do to get in contact, but make sure that they know about it.
  • Send your supervisor a copy of the job description – if you don’t have a proper job description, send what information you do have about the tasks for the position and the company itself.
  • Remember your supervisor will give an honest reference – if you have had problems with your current job, keep in mind that may be discussed during the reference process. If you have concerns, speak with your supervisor in advance of the reference. You should discuss what problem areas you may have, and what you need to do to fix them. If you have any questions about any part of this process, ask your supervisor in advance.

All of this also applies after you have graduated – you can always reach out to us in the future, but please follow these basic guidelines.