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Student Worker Manual

IDEAS Student Employee Manual

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
  • 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.

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 time
  • Nothing 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 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.

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 shift:  you can take a 15-minute break.
  • 6-hour 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.

WhentoWork is our scheduling system for shifts.

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.”

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 shift concerns and will not share your number. 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.

  • 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 need to call out sick, message Student Employee on When to Work. This will send an email to and create a ticket in LibAnswers that all supervisors will be able to see. 
  • If you are dropping a shift within 48 hours of the shift, put the shift on the trade board and message Student Employee on When to Work. 
  • For last minute emergencies (anything less than 48 hours), call the desk at 617-373-8778 and ask to speak to the supervisor on duty.

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.