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Circulation Student Training Program

Training Methods

In an effort to respect the multiple ways students learn, a variety of methods are employed to train Circulation student workers. Examples include:

  • Mentoring and job-shadowing (for Social learners) - Every effort is made to assure that new students are not left alone at the Circulation Desk. For the entirety of the first semester in their position, they are paired with a more experienced student worker who serves as a mentor, or with the Labor Supervisor, Judy Gergen. New student workers are given time to simply observe, absorb, and ask questions about the work being done by the experienced students or librarians.
  • Self-paced online tutorials (for Visual, Aural, and/or Solitary learners) - Online tutorials have been created which serve to teach needed skillsets, such as how to navigate BANC and Voyager, or to perform Circulation-specific tasks, such as how to add Town Patrons in the system or reserve study rooms. The tutorials combine videos, written text, and quizzes.
  • Hands-on training (for Verbal, Logical, and Physical learners) - Hands-on exercises are done during Labor meetings and during spontaneous one-on-ones with the Circulation Labor Supervisor and coworkers. Having the opportunity to perform new tasks can help cement the knowledge and lead to a more in-depth understanding.
  • Outside-training (for Visual, Aural, Physical, and Social learners) - Students are provided opportunities to learn from departments and groups from outside of the Circulation Department when such training may enhance their ability to perform their job. For example, students may be cross-trained in Reference to learn more about helping patrons navigate the numerous resources available to them at Hutchins.

Incentives and Promotion

Circulation workers will undergo a labor evaluation each semester. This evaluation serves to gage where the worker is in growth and potential. At the time of the evaluation, the student may be promoted up one pay grade if he or she has proven capable of handling additional responsibility within the department. Pay grades within the Circulation department range from 1, Circulation Apprentice I, to 4, Circulation Associate.

In addition to pay raise opportunities within the department, exceptional workers may be nominated for a Building Manager position.The Building Managers are a team of student supervisors from various library departments who are responsible for the building when staff are not present. Being hired for this position after a nomination is dependent upon an interview process with Judy Gergen and/or Calvin Gross. Pay grades within the Building Manager team range from 4 to 6, with the highest pay grade reserved for the Building Manager Supervisor.


Circulation student workers are assessed and provided feedback regarding their performance in a variety of ways, including:

  • During hands-on training exercises, student workers demonstrate their knowledge by completing a task. They are given instant feedback from their peers or their labor supervisor when they complete the task in an acceptable manner. When they are off-task, the students are gently re-taught the information.
  • In the online training modules, students are quizzed to demonstrate content mastery. The quiz results are automatically sent to the labor supervisor, who views the results and then, in the case that the students are passing those quizzes, gives students verbal feedback regarding their performance a few times a semester. In the case of a student doing poorly on a quiz, the labor supervisor meets with the student during a scheduled shift to re-teach the material to the student.
  • Written labor evaluations are administered twice a year by the labor supervisor using a rubric provided by the college labor department. Students are rated on a Likert scale regarding the degree to which they satisfy requirements of the job and the level to which they demonstrate certain desirable behaviors, such as being punctual and showing initiative. The labor supervisor meets with students one-on-one to verbally discuss the results of the evaluation before submitting it in writing, providing students with the opportunity to challenge their score.
  • During weekly departmental labor meetings, the supervisor will give general feedback to the group of workers. This feedback may include general notes about changes to processes, gentle reminders about the correct completion of tasks, opportunities for training exercises, or acknowledgment and celebration of a job well done.