General Policies

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

  • No videos or anything that makes noise/requires headphones

  • 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


  • Personal devices are not 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. 

  • If you absolutely must use your personal device to work on an assignment during slow periods, you MUST ask the supervisor on duty for permission. Supervisors may deny use of a personal device based on performance or staffing. 

    • The same rules about personal calls, videos, and awareness apply with laptops as well.

  • Using a personal device without permission will result in disciplinary action

Dress Code

  • No clothes that are inappropriate for public use, such as bathing suits or pajamas.

  • 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 times

  • Nothing vulgar such as racist or sexist language or symbols

Food & Drinks

  • Clean, discrete snacks and drinks in closed containers are allowed.

  • Sandwiches and meals requiring utensils should not be eaten at the desk.

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.

Attendance & Timesheets

  • Please be prepared to start your shift exactly at the start timeIf you are going to be late send a message to the IDEAS Services Team Call Outs chat on Microsoft Teams to let us know when you expect to arrive.Repeated lateness is cause for disciplinary action
  • If there are problems with your schedule, let your supervisor 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. 
  • 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 across all campus jobs while enrolled in classes or on co-op. When classes are not in session, students can work up to 40 hours a week. Work-study students can work based on their award amount. 
  • You will be assigned shifts based on the availability you provide. If you only provide 12 hours of availability a week, you are not guaranteed to be scheduled all 12 hours, as we have to consider everyone's schedules and availability. 

Please speak with the on duty supervisor before you take your break. The supervisor on duty may deny a paid break (up to 20 minutes) based on staffing. The supervisor on duty may require you to take an unpaid break at a specific time based on staffing. Only one employee at each service point should be on break at any given time, unless the supervisor determines otherwise. You cannot use your break to leave early or come in late to a shift. 

  • 4-hour shifts: you can take a paid break of up to 20 minutes.
  • 6-hour shifts: you may take a 30-minute unpaid break or a 20 minute paid break. You must tell the supervisor on duty if you are taking an unpaid break.
  • 6+ hour shifts: you must take a 30-minute unpaid break as required by Massachusetts state law.

You do not get a break for shifts under 4 hours. If you have a reasonable accommodation request for a break on a shift under four hours (religious, medical, etc.), please let your manager know ahead of time. You are allowed to use the restroom at any time on a shift.

WhentoWork is our scheduling system for shifts.

Work time preferences - All students should keep updated work time preferences. Use "cannot work" for any times you are not available including class times, other work schedules, or club/team meetings. As per Massachusetts state law, you CANNOT be scheduled during class times, even if your class is not meeting that week. See the W2W guide below for more information about setting preferences.

Time off Requests - Submit time off requests for times when you know you will not be available to work that are more than one week away, even if you are already scheduled. Do not use time off requests to call out for a same day shift. Once your time off request is approved, the shift will be unassigned and available for other students to pick up. 

Trading or Dropping Shifts - If you don't want to work a shift and want to trade shifts with another student employee, you can add your scheduled shift to the trade board. You can trade a shift with another employee, drop a shift if someone is willing to pick it up, or post a shift as available for both trade or drop. You are responsible for covering the shift if it is not picked up. If it is a shift you know you cannot work, submit a time off request or speak with your manager. If it is a last minute emergency, please make sure that you message the teams channel "IDEAS Services Team Call Outs" to notify us that you won’t be in.

Sending Messages through When to Work – The messaging page allows you to message any employee, including student supervisors and managers. All student employees and student supervisors are listed by last name. All full time staff are listed as “Manager.” 

You can download When to Work as an app! We highly recommend utilizing this app to double check your schedule on the go.

Lastly, please sign up for text alerts/urgent alerts under your account information with your cell phone number. We will only text you related to urgent shift openings and weather events. In the unexpected case for services closing for severe weather or urgent shift coverage needed, we will send you a notice via text AND email to ensure you see it.

For more detailed training:

  • If you know you will not be able to make a shift more than 48 hours in advance, put in a time off request for that shift. Approved time off requests will automatically remove you from conflicting shifts.

  • If you find out you cannot make a shift less than 48 hours in advance or are not feeling well, send a message to the IDEAS Services Team Call Outs chat on Microsoft Teams. If you find that you do not have access; please alert your supervisor so that they can add you.

  • You can submit a trade or drop request on the trade board in When2Work for any shift you are still able to work but would prefer not to. You are responsible for that shift until it is picked up by another student and approved by a supervisor.

We use the Workday Check-in feature for clocking in and out.

  • Clock in when you sit down and are ready to work, and when you return from an UNPAID break (30 minutes for a shift lasting 6+ hours)
  • Clock out when you leave the desk at the end of your shift, and when  you leave for an UNPAID break
  • Do not clock in before you arrive to work or when you are not on the schedule. Abuse of the time clock system will result in immediate disciplinary action.
  • If you make an error such as forgetting to clock in or out, mistakenly pressing a button, etc. let your manager now as soon as possible so they can correct your timesheet.

Timesheets are submitted through Workday weekly. Timesheets must be submitted by 10:00 am Sunday for the previous week's shifts unless your supervisor tells you otherwise. Be mindful of holiday weeks' as the deadline may change.

Timesheets must be submitted for managers to approve them. If your manager is out of office and you haven't submitted your timesheet, no one else will be able to approve it! Ask your supervisor if you have questions! 

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.