Library Staff Scheduling Pitfalls and Solutions

April 21, 2021 | 479 views

Library Staff Scheduling Pitfalls and Solutions
Library Staff Scheduling Pitfalls and Solutions

Libraries, like most organizations, work with tight budgets and limited resources. Creating an efficient library operation demands everything from managing book inventory and class schedule to assisting with research. One consistent aspect, however, is scheduling the right person for each type of necessary work so that the library provides full service to library users.

Effective library scheduling directly improves efficiency in the library. With the use of scheduling software, library managers easily manage these common challenges for library operations.

Balancing Employee Skill Sets with Library Needs. Library professionals are highly skilled and manage library collections, programs for all ages, student research, and technology. However, the library staff includes non-professional employees, part-time workers, and volunteers. The task of scheduling these different type of employee means balancing the available skill sets with the varied needs of the library’s users. An automated scheduling system assists top librarians by comparing shift needs with employee skills to ensure appropriate coverage. And managers can task employees with specific assignments like teaching a class or reshelving inventory.

Juggling Multiple Library Sites. Larger library systems often share employees. Employees could work at a primary location, but they could fill in at other locations when needed. ScheduleBase software offers ease of transferring schedules among employees to different locations. It is easy to see who is available to work a particular shift or cover a specific duty.

Communicating Effectively to Dispersed Employees. From librarians to volunteers, communication can be tricky. With a mobile, online scheduler, library managers can send updates, news, closures (even schedules!) immediately and confidently. The messaging remains consistent, saves time, and is particularly useful for library systems with multiple locations.

Respecting Employee Requests for Time (Off or On). Changes to a single employee schedule have a domino effect on everyone else. However, when employees make requests online, then schedulers can easily approve those requests, and employees receive an immediate in-app alert, keeping teams in sync. Likewise, managers can post open shifts for employees to select.

Ensuring Breaks Support Library Operations. Everyone needs a break, but not at the library’s busiest time. Scheduling the best time for each employee break period is part of managing schedules. Breaks become a very specific portion of each employee’s scheduled shift to coordinate with employee needs and library demands.

Library manager responsibilities are broad, so it is important to schedule personnel easily and effectively. Scheduling can take time away from other duties, but a cloud-based scheduling software will help library managers avoid challenges while saving time and improving staffing communication. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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